For years, custom electronics installers as a group cared about little more than creating mind-blowing home entertainment and automation experiences for their clients, and why shouldn’t they have? It was a sustainable, busy, profitable and, frequently, fun business model. So you can forgive them for not going ga-ga over green from the outset; energy efficiency was the last thing on most of their minds.
During the bulk of this decade, custom installers had little reason or time to change their ways. They were already dealing with what many of them would characterize as an unwelcome convergence of their beloved A/V with IT/IP/PC/networking technology, so they were otherwise preoccupied with the changing world of consumer electronics. Plus, in the golden, gilded age of bling, their well-heeled clients wanted excess – the bigger, the better — and who were they to argue? Energy consumption simply wasn’t an issue for their clients, and installers were too busy satisfying those clients’ outsized desires to be contrary.
My, how times have changed. Today, even the wealthiest of wealthy are being more discriminate about their spending. More people at all levels of the economic spectrum are thinking about energy efficiency and environmental responsibility than ever before, and some of the biggest proponents of green come from the upper echelons of the economic scale. Let’s face it: Green is trendy, cool and viewed as the right thing to do in moneyed circles these days. Many of these same good people are also the typical custom installation customer. As such, it would behoove custom installations to think green and learn what it takes to be green, and to offer green.
Here are some of the many reasons custom installers should start to think green:
Energy efficiency: The world at large looks at consumer electronics products as energy hogs, but custom installers can turn the tables on that perception by installing products with the ENERGY STAR – as we mentioned recently, there’s even a multi-room audio system that has earned the ENERGY STAR now — and by using power conditioners to regulate energy usage and reduce energy waste.
Energy management: This emerging product/service category is undoubtedly going to be the next big trend in residential technology. Custom installers should get in on the ground floor while they can (that is, before the big retailers and service providers eventually figure out how to deliver it on a massive scale).
Marketing/PR: Green presents a chance to rebrand your company and rethink the entire way you do business. If the business has become stale, this is a great way to let in some fresh air. And from a PR standpoint, you not only have something new to talk about but also you have a fresh way to present yourself to the marketplace, including to the local media.
Custom installers don’t have to change the way they do business overnight, but they should definitely let green inform their thinking going forward.
For a slightly more cynical take on this subject, check out this article I wrote in 2007.
Posted by: Joe P