While solar uptake across Australia continues to grow at an impressive rate, 80 per cent of Australian households are yet to benefit from the savings rooftop solar PV cells can bring, which leaves plenty of room for expansion.
Industry-disrupting technologies such as high resolution aerial imagery from Nearmap, are changing the face of the Australian renewables market by allowing installers to identify solar leads without time-consuming site visits.
It’s official: Australia’s residential rooftop solar market is on the rise, with no signs of slowing down. Last December, the Clean Energy Council marked the installation of rooftop solar power in two million homes across Australia, up from a mere 20,000 ten years ago.
The rising number of installations is being fuelled by improvements in large- and small-scale energy storage, and decreasing costs to consumers brought about by improving economies of scale.
The trend is also helped by a number of state-sponsored rebates available for household and small business installation of renewable energy systems such as PV or wind, making the ROI for homeowners even more attractive.
Is a sign that solar is here to stay, several large-scale solar farms are underway, and while clear public policies around renewables are still emerging, the demand for solar across Australia is surging.
To paraphrase, the shadow is on the wall — and the solar companies who can most efficiently and accurately service new residential customers will be the most competitive in the new renewables landscape. Retaining a competitive edge will rely on a range of industry-disrupting technologies, including current, high resolution aerial imagery.
How does aerial imagery help solar operators?
The obvious question is this: How does the view from the top help solar installers on the ground? The answer is staggeringly simple.
Current aerial photos help solar installers prospect for solar leads; produce quick, accurate quotes; and confidently estimate labour and material requirements. Top solar providers are already leveraging the power of aerial views of properties to keep up with Australia’s appetite for renewables.
Another way solar retailers use current, clear aerial imagery is in visually impressive, polished proposals. With regularly updated aerial maps, solar installers can present a design shown in the context of the client’s home — in its current condition.
It’s a persuasive tool for closing the deal, and is far more professional than a drawing or a design presented on low resolution, outdated satellite maps.
Accurate and efficient technology
National Renewable Group (NRG Solar Services) is a solar solution provider in South Australia that’s seen the benefits of aerial imagery first-hand.
NRG uses aerial imagery from Nearmap, an industry-leading aerial imagery and location data company, to plan and inspect locations remotely – a process which has saved them at least 25 hours a week.
The use of aerial imagery has also provided NRG Solar Services with the ability to prepare and present high-quality quotes, with estimates including kilowatt output, for their valued customers.
NRG Solar Services State Sales Manager Darren Vonthethoff explained, “With Nearmap’s image accuracy and powerful solar tools, we can quickly develop a high-quality quotation via a web browser instead of relying on manual calculations. This has enhanced our credibility as a leading solar solution provider.”
The use of Nearmap aerial imagery can help streamline solar projects by allowing providers to design the most suitable solar solution for their customers, including accurate estimates for material and labour requirements.
A wider reach
By accessing Nearmap via a web browser, NRG Solar Services can extend their reach to rural customers and provide precise quotes over the phone.
The ability to provide exact quotes over the phone cuts down on labour costs and makes the sales team more efficient by cutting down time-intensive site visits.
“Labour is the major expense for our business. But with Nearmap, we are much more efficient,” Mr Vonthethoff said. “It is a very rare event to get our estimate wrong with Nearmap. Our staff can spend more time on valuable tasks rather than fixing issues or doing non-paid jobs.”
Solar providers such as National Renewable Group will continue to use innovative technology from Nearmap to maintain a competitive edge in the growing Australian solar energy market.
“I would not want to go back to the days without Nearmap,” said Mr Vonthethoff.
If you’re considering adding updated aerial maps to your solar lead workflow, there are four key things to keep in mind when choosing an aerial imagery solution:
Currency. Current imagery guarantees that you’re seeing the real condition of the home and roof — so on-site surprises are minimised.
Accuracy. Your aerial imagery solution should be as high resolution as possible, to ensure that measurements you make on the imagery are accurate.
Ease of access. Cloud-based aerial imagery that you can view in a web app — as opposed to one-off imagery datasets that you have to integrate into your own software — means that your aerial imagery is “always on.”
Coverage. An aerial imagery source with wide-scale, consistent coverage of Australia’s most populated areas means solar companies can instantly survey the solar hot spots and identify the areas of greatest opportunity.
This partner content is brought to you by Nearmap. For more information, visit https://www.nearmap.com.au/.