Name one of the key aspects of sustainability that’s most appealing to a broad audience. Give up? It’s simple: Performance. And let’s be honest—this is what customers really want. So it’s up to you to find ways to leverage your products’ performance features because ultimately this translates to customer value.
A core piece of the sustainability puzzle is energy efficiency—and the multitude of ways you can maximize it. Important sought-after performance metrics include reductions in energy costs and carbon footprints of buildings—for both new and retrofit projects.
Ironically, you make the most impact when you make zero impact on the environment. One way to make a greater impact with your customers is to show them how your products help their end users achieve a zero sum where energy is concerned.
Focus on net zero
A growing trend in the building industry is zero energy building, or ZEB, solutions. A Navigant Research report anticipates worldwide revenue from ZEBs will increase exponentially from $629 million a year in 2014 to more than $1.4 trillion by 2035.
These solutions, including everything from photovoltaic cells to sustainable landscaping, gather up existing energy technologies to produce a high-performance building that uses the same amount of energy it produces in a year’s time.
In addition to the potential for energy savings, government regulations are also helping to fuel this growth. In California, for example, amendments to Title 24 mandate that by 2020 all residential buildings must be zero net energy (ZNE) and all commercial buildings must be ZNE by 2030. This also applies to retrofit projects.
Find your niche
Despite its potential for growth, challenges still remain. The definition of what exactly constitutes a ZEB remains elusive, and getting the word out about how accessible these solutions are continues to be slow going.
So how do you plan to take part in the net zero energy revolution and become a net zero energy hero? Here are four ways to promote your company’s role in net zero building:
1. Get definitive.
Since the definition of net zero varies as well as the types of ZEBs, it’s important to identify what types of zero energy buildings your products support. You’ll offer your customers a clearer picture of your value offering. However, remember to stay loose because the definitions surrounding net zero continue to evolve.
2. Join forces.
Partner and collaborate with organizations that share your same philosophy about net zero energy. Identify companies you’ve worked on projects with—and continue to work with—that are just as committed to energy efficiency in the built environment. You’ll expand your organization’s capabilities and offerings plus demonstrate great environmental stewardship.
3. Share best practices.
Develop case studies that show successful implementation of your products—particularly those that highlight partnerships and share them with your customers. They love it when your products play well with others and can get a good idea of how they’ll perform.
4. Educate inside and out.
Make sure both your internal and external customers are well informed. Continually keep your internal customers up to speed on new developments in ZEB solutions so your offerings stay relevant. Work to ensure that your external customers are regularly updated on your ZEB technology offerings. Staying current and helping your customers do the same increases the likelihood that you become the go-to source for knowledge—and repeat business.
Let your customers know exactly how your building products lend themselves to net zero energy savings. You’ll be poised to be a part of exponential growth and to offer exceptional value and performance to your customers.
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