If you’ve been at Solar Power UK 2012 this week then you can’t fail to have noticed Enphase Energy’s booth, between the live demonstrations, candy-filled shot glasses and fish tanks it’s been hard to miss.
After spending some time with the UK Managing Director, Paul Nightingale, it’s clear that Enphase’s booth is emblematic of the company’s approach to the UK market — Enphase takes no half-measures.
Speaking to Paul, he told how the company plans to stick to what it knows for the UK launch: “My idea was to copy the success that the company has had in North America. They started in residential and moved heavily into commercial after grabbing significant market share in the residential market.”
Paul was bullish about the recent domestic installation figures: “I really, really believe that the residential market is going to bounce back and quite quickly. There is an appetite for people to buy solar. The industry has been difficult and companies have been challenged – but people want to buy solar.”
Typically, Paul believes that his company will play its part in helping lead the UK residential renaissance, he explained: “For the installer, Enphase’s microinverters are a way of differentiating themselves. We are a different technology, most people aren't used to it. We want to make installers really comfortable with it. We want installers first installation with Enphase to be a pleasurable experience.
“We want people touching and feeling our products to create excitement around the brand. Eventually, we want to be reaching out to homeowners too, to generate interest so they actually ask for Enphase from the installer.”
On the timing of the company’s UK launch, Paul said: “We’ve taken a long time in building the business, getting the customer support team in place, sales operations, marketing, external sales — recruiting the best possible people we could. That meant that we had the whole team in place before we even sold the first unit.
“We set up 12 beta sites in the UK. We put products in as many different sites as we could and ran them for two months. Although it’s the same product that we’ve been selling in Italy and France for years, we wanted to make sure that when the first UK installer took the product out the box and installed it — it just worked.”
“No corner has been cut here, there is absolutely no compromise. We know that’s why we’re going to be so successful because we’ve taken that no compromise approach.”