Newcastle and Hunter Region PV Solar. Situation Analysis and Market Research Summary
Sunday, 2 January 2022
2. PV solar in the Hunter region. Situation analysis and market research
The solar power market in Australia is expected to grow at a compound annual growth (CAGR) of 19.56% during the forecast period of 2020-2025
More than 22% of homes in Australia used rooftop solar PV to generate 12269 GWH
More than 30,000 rooftop installations were registered in March 2020, for a total of 250 MW of capacity.
The Aus, rooftop solar market is growing strong driven by high electricity prices and falling costs of solar PV and associated equipment. Increasing energy use at home due to lockdowns are also increasing the demand.
The high cost of storage along with competition from alternative clean energy sources and problems associated with solar power integration to the grid is expected to hinder the growth of this market.
The residential segment is expected to dominate the Australia Rooftop solar market during the next 5 years
Australia is expected to have the highest share of solar power at nearly 40% in the electricity grids by 2050, which is expected to provide opportunities in the Australia solar rooftop market in the future.
While the majority of PV Installations in Australia are residential, rooftop solar on commercial buildings is on growth stage.
The national rooftop solar market is fragmented. Some of the major players in the market include, Energy matters Pty Ltd, Gem energy inc, Tinto solar PTY, Trina solar limited and Risen Energy co ltd. ( National level)
NSW is leading the rooftop solar PV installation with more than 100,000 systems in 2020 according to the CSIRO
The NSW Government is implementing renewable energy zones prioritising sustainable energy sources and higher energy efficiency standards for new homes in the 2022 national construction code, through the Australian Builders Codes Board. (Sustainability of Energy Supply and Resources in NSW, August 2021).This could represent an opportunity to promote our products within the construction industry…?
Solar systems are currently subsidised by the Federal Government (STC Scheme). Under the current legislation this solar financial incentive is reducing by one fifteen (?) every year from January 2017 until it drops to zero in 2031. This means that the solar panel demand may tend to decline over time due to drops on rebate and market saturation.
However the Empowering homes program supported by the NSW Government is aiming to deliver solar and batteries to 300,000 households in NSW across 10 years through interest free solar and battery loans for eligible households. This program was extended to allow residents in the Hunter region. ( How can we fit there?)
The Hunter region accounts for 44% of the power generation in NSW. Around 51% of this energy is produced by Coal. The closure of 2 big power stations in the next few years may accelerate the transition to a clean energy.
There are 68,827 private dwellings in the Newcastle area
According to the Australian PV, approximately 20% of households in Newcastle have solar power. Almost twice the homes in this city have solar power. (gosolarquotes.com.au)
In Lake Macquarie there are approximately 31% of households with PV systems ( Australian PV institute)
The most common installation size for household PV systems was between 6.5kW and 9.5kW, accounting for slightly more than half of total installations in the Hunter region.
The market is competitive with around 22 local businesses offering PV solar systems and related services. (Google search)
Our main challenge is to look for a clear positioning and differentiation strategy to set us apart from the competition. How can we attract the right customer to our website?
3. Competitors Analysis
This competitor analysis is based on different combinations of google search keywords. These are the main businesses on the first page.
1- Solahart Newcastle. (www.solahartnewcastle.com.au) social media, residential and commercial, offering PV, solar hot water, battery storage and heat pumps. Informative website but somehow overcrowded. It has a chat. Their value proposition is to “Install the right solar system for the customer needs, and to only use the best quality products on the market”. Customer service awarded by Canstar. Youtube channel with testimonials. Great customers reviews with good quality photos. Using Tesla and BYD batteries. Generally appearing first in google search… Offering a $1000 trade in to replace old PV systems with 14 panels or more. Best pricing strategy with different offers, packages and combinations.
2- Hunter Solar Solutions (www.huntersolarsolutions.com.au) Average website quality, Free quote section with contact number. Offering top of the line solar products such as Enphase, Qcells, Fronious, Tesla and LG. They also offer an “honest approach”. Locally owned and operated business. Not many photos, No people or team photos, no videos, some good reviews, some relevant information but not much.
3- HCB Solar www.hcbsolar.com.au Nice looking website (2021) professional quality photos (drone), Free quote, reviews, Residential and commercial, Empowering homes program. They work with LG solar winner Best regional dealer 2020, LG Tesla, Sonnen, Enaphase, solar edge, Qcells. They offer different packages segmented by family (3,4,5+)… Family owned and local. LG authorised dealer, they claim to have their own Lab in Cardif where they test their equipment. Service all around the Hunter region. Easy to navigate, attractive photos, relevant info, good brands. No social media.
4- Aztech Solar. (wwwaztechsolar.com.au). $0 deposit with no interest. Social media, Contact Number. Free onsite quote. Chat, good quality photos, serving all the Hunter region. Personalised solution. Wide range of products. The Aztech difference: “Locally owned and Operated solar and battery storage installers”. Custom design for each client, smart monitoring systems, Referral program $300 visa debit card, sponsors of cancer council NSW, 12 years workmanship warranty, free home energy assessment, help you choose best energy retailer. Good marketing website. LG, Hyundai Suntech, sungrow, Tesla battery… Drone photos. Good testimonials, no photos. Pricing strategy and good marketing mix
5- Hunter Valley Electric: https://huntervalleyelectrics.com.au
Aussie solar solutions
Best website with good quality photos.
Plenty of familiar faces and drone photography.
Phone number and messenger option.
Short and professional intro video.
Free quote in less than 24 hours, free site inspection, free cash back ( referral program)
Great design. 5 star google reviews.
Clean Energy council accredited installer.
A rural solar company with 40 years experience.
Residential and commercial. Solar batteries, Enphase solar and packages. One stop shop, skilled and capable, local business with family values, ten years warranty. Free stuff section with the regular items. Referral program with $250.
Brief story, Strong mission statement and differentiation. “Old school service with modern solutions”. Messages: Good reputation, local, family own. End to end service. “Friendly team with real people. Our culture is based on safety, leadership, client relationship and community”.
End to end service. packages with battery options. Brands: REC solar, Longi, Goodwe, Fronious, Enphase, Canadian solar.
Use social media: FB, instagram, LinkedIn
Clearly estate service areas
Open every day from 7am to 5 pm
2 email addresses
4. Market segment and Target Market
Home owners and households with mortgage. Around 51% of the local market (Greater Newcastle Region)
Men and women, but mainly men…(?), from 30 to 60 y/o. Representing 38.1% of the Hunter population. (ABS)
Professionals, technicians, tradies and business owners with medium to higher income level. ($1547 per week or higher)
Many of them are young families with kids in school age
At least one adult work full time. They have internet access and at least 2 cars. They may use some social media specially FB, Linkedin and Instagram… ( twitter?)…
This segment accounts for around 41,868 households, mainly families.
Our data base account for 7,382 customers (PV systems, solar water..) this represents 17% of the market share assuming the majority of these households have PV systems.
Their main motivation is to add value to their homes, reduce increasing energy bills and reduce carbon footprint.
Our segment seems to be a premium segment, educated and a little bit more sophisticated and all our marketing efforts will need to reflect this.
They may not be looking for a bargain but for a great product, reliability and a great customer service experience.