It’s really no surprise that the popularity of solar technology in the UK has increased in recent years. Government introduced an incentive mechanism to drive uptake just as component costs took a sharp dive. As word began to spread across the country UK consumers flocked in their thousands to find out how they could get their hands on solar panels and how, most importantly, they could reduce their energy bills.

This new found consumer interest prompted the birth of solar lead generation companies, which swooped in on the volume of people who were interested in solar power but who didn’t really know where to start. These savvy businesses realised that if they set up a net to capture this group they could sell leads on and make a reasonable profit.

Solar is ideal for online lead generation for two main reasons:

  1. Consumers are fairly unfamiliar with the technology
  2. Installation can be expensive and therefore shopping around is advisable

It is fair to say that UK consumers are used to researching expensive purchases before using price comparison sites to find the best offer. This method is no different for those wishing to install solar technology. The research will be carried out online, and the price comparison made by contacting more than one supplier/installer or solar comparison website. Every request for further information can be considered a lead, and, with only a finite window of opportunity to win strong market share, suppliers and installers are turning to solar lead generation companies in order to boost the volume of potential customers they can sell to at any time.

Different lead generators

When looking for a solar lead generation company, installers can choose from several approaches including, but not limited to:

1. Lead generation experts with specific knowledge of the solar market

2. A generalist lead generation company

3. A marketing agency

4. Affiliate networks

All of these options are capable of producing qualified solar leads, yet some will be more effective than others. The specialist companies are likely to have more specific market knowledge, and will therefore often be more useful. However, the other options are usually cheaper and as a result, used more frequently.

Demand vs. supply

At present UK consumers are in a state of hesitation when it comes to solar technology. They are aware of solar power, they know it is available in the UK, they even know a bit about how the technology works, but they don’t know where to get it – and they are worried about the feed-in tariff mechanism and whether it is here to stay.

Yet despite this uncertainty consumers are still picking up on the news stories reporting how they can save money on their energy bills by generating their own power at home. In a mission to find out more they end up on the books of lead generation sites, before being sold on to local installers.

UK consumers are also well-known for wanting to ‘keep up with the Jones’s’ and are quick to enquire about something their neighbours have. Several UK solar companies have reported how after installing on one person’s home they have received enquiries from the same area. This is another way consumers find themselves online looking for information on installers.

So, the demand is obviously there, and is only expected to increase as energy bills continue on their upward trend. But are there enough lead generation companies to go round and, perhaps more importantly, do they actually work?

We’re interested to find out more about the effectiveness of solar lead generation companies in the UK. If you’re a solar installer and have had experience of dealing with a lead generation company, or if you are sourcing solar leads on behalf of those in the UK solar industry we’d love to hear from you. Send your thoughts to [email protected] or comment using the dedicated section below.