Is the Green Movement In HVAC Over?


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The statistics, if not the hype, surrounding the green movement in HVAC have spread with all the force of a summer heat wave.

As of late April, the U.S. Department of Energy reports that air conditioners use about 5 percent of all the electricity produced in the United States, at an annual cost of more than $11 billion to homeowners. And with that cost comes an environmental impact.

Going green is everywhere, and for some time, it’s been a marketing tack encouraged in all corners of the HVAC industry. That’s not a bad thing, per se: No one would dispute the advantages that an environmentally friendly installation has for customers and businesses that make the investment.

The Green movement issue is transcended though, by a very important question for HVAC contractors: Is this what customers want? Or, more to the pain point: Do they care?

While green may or may not concern your clients, there’s no doubt whatsoever that comfort comes at the top of their wish lists. No matter how much an HVAC serves the greater environmental good, it’s no good at all if it can’t keep you adequately cool in the summer and warm in winter.

Cost savings over time also ranks as important, but it’s not always a return on investment your clients will see right away—and thus misses hitting the mark in terms of immediate gratification. Cost does figure into other crucial factors, though.

But where does eco-friendly fit into all this? Once a customer’s comfort concerns are addressed and they feel they aren’t breaking the bank, being green for most still falls much farther towards the bottom of the list of things they are concerned with.

In some cases, green could even be a hindrance. The last thing a contractor needs is to lose their customers, because they are going on and on about a topic that has no value to them.

So it is time to rethink how green works into the overall sales pitch. Ample evidence suggests that green is not sustainable as HVAC’s main marketing thrust. But in the months and years to come, systems will get more energy efficient and eco-friendly, even if customers don’t necessarily care all that much.

And there’s where a tried and true sales approach matters: one where your customers can be comfortable, while keeping more of their money, in their wallets.

So, consider your clientele then, and make smart economic-friendly selling decisions. If you live in an area of the country where green technology drives the market, don’t ignore it. And if you’re working a turf where folks think green is a color, not a movement, focus on the pain points that need to be addressed and don’t worry about trying to sell the eco-friendly aspects of the unit. Either way, the customer is going to get the benefits of the more environmentally friendly system, which is a win for them, for you, and for the Planet.

Steve Schmidt
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Posted In: ACCA Now, Opinion

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