SOLARWATT is in search of a number of premium installer partners across the UK as it prepare its entry into the market later this year.
Last week Solar Power Portal reported that the German manufacturer was already looking to build a partnership network to support its new expansion. Speaking exclusively to SPP on Wednesday, international sales manager Pol Spronck explained that following pilot installations to be carried out this year, the company will seek to up to 12 installer firms across the UK to aid its entry into the residential solar storage market.
“We are now looking to really go for the premium partners that are proud to carry the brand, promote it and to really have a partnership. We want four or five in England, two in Scotland, two in Ireland and two in Northern Ireland. So that adds up and there will be one in Wales,” he said.
SOLARWATT’s product range, including high end glass-glass solar panels, the StecaGrid 3010 system inverter, the MyReserve battery storage system and the company’s energy management system, is likely to be launched in the final months of 2016 or in early 2017 following a number of pilot installations.
Once selected, premium installer firms will be given priority in deliveries as well as being offered the best pricing and support with marketing materials and at trade shows – an offer that has already garnered a lot of interest.
The firms will also be get product specific training from SOLARWATT either in the UK or at the company’s headquarters in Dresden. However, Spronck pointed out that the firms selected will have to offer proven experience of their own.
“An installer has to be able to sell premium quality and the added value of our modules and complete storage systems. They will get the training but what is important and in order to succeed they should be able to make configurations, good offers to explain to their customers why this is better and why they should go for this solution,” he said.
“They need experience in installing as well, they need to accredited and they need to have all the certifications because you can have a premium product but the service and everything around it should be quality. That's what we demand from our premium partners: to be knowledgeable and to be able to advise their customers in a correct and complete way.”
Once the pilot schemes are completed, Spronck said SOLARWATT is preparing to “enter the market very heavily” with its MyReserve system, a DC-coupled plug and play modular battery solution designed with ease of installation in mind. The cables are all pre-wired while the system is pre-assembled with connectors. No one component exceeds 25kg, which Spronck claiming that this allows a unit to be installed by one tradesman within 30 minutes.
While still in its earliest stages of development, the UK residential storage market is expected to grow exponentially once costs reduce to the right price point for homeowners. Spronck expects a 40% reduction in prices by 2020 due to market drivers and economies of scale, with SOLARWATT positioning itself to take advantage of new demand once it arises.