Sustainability in the electrical installation market

For many years now, sustainability has been high on the agenda in both the general society but also in the construction and installation markets. In recent years, there has been a huge increase in new legislation and maybe even more important a shift in mindset.

As a dedicated international market research agency specialising in the construction and installation markets, we have been following this trend over many years amongst various target groups. Recently, we have seen that in Europe the demand and willingness to invest in sustainable solutions from an architects perspective has increased rapidly. But what about the electrical installers? To what degree are they actively using sustainable products and solutions in their projects?

High adoption of sustainable solutions/products in projects

As can be seen above, the share of projects where some form of sustainability is taken into account is the highest amongst electrical installers in  the UK and the lowest in Germany. This is, unsurprisingly, very much in-line with the results we got from European architects. Overall, the share of projects containing some form of sustainable solutions or products is quite high (above 40%) in 4 out of the 7 countries that are monitored in the European Electrical Installation Monitor, a quarterly survey conducted amongst electrical installers and based on 3,200 successful interviews by phone annually.

More growth to be expected

In the upcoming years, many electrical installers expect that they will be installing even more sustainable solutions and products. In almost all countries, close to or over 70% of the electrical installers expect that the demand for sustainable solutions and products will increase. Only in  Belgium and Poland this is lower, but still more then half of all electrical installers in these countries expect more demand for sustainable solutions. It needs to be stated tough, that in many countries electrical installers mention using recycled products or products then can be recycled as a key element of sustainability.

The drivers for growth

The electrical installers in most countries are mention that the main drivers behind the growth in sustainability is the demand from the building owners and the legislation coming from local and European legislation. When it comes to the demand for circularity, governments and to a lesser degree architects are even more important. As mentioned above, many electrical installers still hold a limited view on what sustainability is. It mainly revolves around the usage of materials that are recyclable or products that use recycled materials. There obviously is still a huge growth potential when it comes to more ‘advanced’ forms of sustainability, for example minimising waste and looking at the total life cycle of a building.   

What’s in it for me

So sustainability is important and will continue to grow in importance. But what’s in it for manufacturers of installation products. Obviously, your products need to meet the legislation standards in order to be even considered. Now this is not a real surprise and not really something then can become an unique selling point. Sustainability is or will rapidly become a license to operate. But how can you capitalise on this trend and use sustainability in a way that it adds value to the brand and increase customer loyalty and intimacy? One way of finding the answers to this question is to look at the barriers electrical installers perceive around sustainability. In almost all countries the main issues revolves around a lack of information on the products, installation and certificates on the one hand and the higher costs of the products on the other hand.

A clear way to add more value would thus be training and informing the installers better on the new products, certificates and installation process. This sharing of knowledge will become even more important in the future, not just for sustainability but in general, as the workload amongst installers remains high, the products become increasingly more complex and in many countries installers are facing labour shortage. 

Regarding the difficulty electrical installers face when it comes to ‘selling’ the higher costs of the sustainable products and solutions one could say the simplest solution would be to reduce the costs of these products and solutions. But this is not always possible and will happen organically as the demand continues to increase. Furthermore, price will always be mentioned, so it’s more of a perception problem. The answer to this questions would again be education and helping the installers to sell these products and solutions to their customers by providing them tools and clear argumentation.

About the research and USP Marketing Consultancy

The European Electrical Installation Monitor is a quarterly multi-client survey by phone amongst 3,200 Electrical installers annually. The full reports provide an in-depth view on key topics like sustainability, buying behaviour, orientation behaviour, digitalisation and many more.

This research is part of the multi-client research portfolio of USP Marketing Consultancy. Other multi-client report cover target groups like HVAC installers, contractors and architects.

Besides offering key insights trough our multi-client portfolio, USP Marketing Consultancy also utilises it’s high level of market knowledge of the construction, installation and home improvement markets (build op over the last 25 years) to conduct dedicated ad-hoc market research. Our market knowledge is our key asset, enabling better insights and clear advice. When it comes to dedicated market research, USP Marketing Consultancy covers all types of research, for example branding, customer satisfaction, market entry, product concept tests and many more.