The Cornell University and Ithaca New York area is a very progressive eco-conscious area. That is where the emphasis on natural building supplies like slate and cedar shingles come from. It is also interesting the way we may be doing slate or cedar on one building and the next roof in same neighborhood doing solar collecting PV panel shingles and solar hot water heaters. Both are for the same reason – environmental concerns and consciousness.
Getting involved in the solar panels and solar installations has been a tremendous help to our business and is another way we use to differentiate ourselves from other roofing companies that we might be competing with. It is a very easy transition to these products and is something I am surprised more people do not do at least as an offering. Even if people choose not to go with it, it is another reason to talk to us and let us pitch to them when they are choosing a roofing company.
Most of the suppliers for these products have excellent training information available to include videos and even onsite support so getting started is not a lot more than a phone call and willingness to try something a little different. Getting certified (particularly if trying for a “Green Company certification”) is a much more in depth process but can be lucrative. The lack of competition allows for much more reasonable margins and the people that choose these products are willing to pay a premium for them.