There is “nothing to worry about” regarding proposed cuts to the feed-in tariff but installers must become “smart contractors” and take much more of an interest in their customers’ overall energy needs to survive, a discussion panel at SEUK has concluded.

Rexel’s Jerry Hamilton told a watching crowd: “Yes, you’re going to have to change, but other countries have gotten through huge tariff cuts,” and implored installers to “put more effort and energy into educating people just how good PV is.”

Hamilton said installers would have to diversify into other, complementary products and educate both themselves and their customers on energy demand, particularly on commercial installations which Hamilton said would be “more pain than their worth” owing to the administrative work needed every quarter for comparatively little profit.

Egnica CEO Andrew Padmore echoed Hamilton’s sentiments, likening the renewables trade to extreme sports in the sense that “it moves and changes [and] flexibility is key”.

Padmore continued that installers should think of themselves almost as “outsourced energy managers” and become part of a company’s team to create energy solutions to work for them.

Also on the panel was Gareth Jones, managing director at Carbon Zero Renewables, who warned that the industry must adapt to the cuts and stressed the importance of installers not being afraid to try new products.

“What’s exciting is a combination of products – a package of works installed to deliver various benefits,” Jones said. “Too many people just fit a system and walk away. Customers now want more than that,” he said.