Once we got our own system up and running, we realized that not many people in our area knew about solar and wind electricity, nor could they offer good advice on it. Even the salespeople from the various companies generally did not have their own systems, and a lot did not have much hands-on experience.
Seeing the need for someone to enter this field and provide good service and knowledge, we decided to move ahead. One thing that I feel quite strongly about is that if you are going to sell something, you need to be familiar with it and be able to provide good, sound information based on experience. We upgraded our systems, and purchased different products for testing to become familiar with them.
I followed up on the leads that Soltek provided, and sold and installed some systems. As word got out about our own system, various news media (radio, TV, and newspapers) did stories on us. Some people have seen our system while passing through town, and have contacted us.
One rather unfortunate thing that I have run into several times is that unqualified people have sold and installed systems and products and left a bad taste for the renewable energy industry. This, I believe, is the result of two things. First, people who are interested in the technology but do not have the qualifications have gotten into selling and installing systems and making a mess of them.
The second problem is consumers who do not want to pay for qualified people to sell and install the products, believing that they can save some money. My experience so far has been that it costs more if they try that route. I have made it a practice to try to provide excellent service and train the people in operating their systems. I really believe that providing good service and information has been key to building our RE business.