Rexel: Demand for Energy Efficiency Grows - Modern Distribution Management

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Rexel: Demand for Energy Efficiency Grows

Opportunity abounds for distributors who can cut through the complexity of energy efficiency for customers.

Energy efficiency continues to be an important topic in the United States, according to a recent survey by the Rexel Foundation, a new charitable initiative launched by global electrical distributor Rexel. And electrical contractors believe they are ready to meet this increased demand in spite of continued challenges for the industry.

In the last five years, 75 percent of consumer respondents said they had made energy efficient improvements to their homes, and 70 percent plan to do so in the "near future," according to the survey. At the same time, 94 percent of U.S. electrical contractors feel "well-positioned" to do this type of work.

Energy efficiency was also one of the top electrical distribution trends we identified in the 2013 Market Leaders & Distribution Trends Report, and interest in other sectors, such as industrial pipes, vales and fittings, has grown, as well.

"In just a few years, we've made great strides in creating an environment that has facilitated the implementation of energy efficient solutions in both the residential and commercial construction sectors," said Chris Hartmann, executive vice president and CEO, Rexel Holdings USA. "However, there are still a lot of improvements that can be achieved and it will take the collective effort of the industry, government and consumers alike if we want to make a serious impact to improve our energy efficiency."

Products and services related to energy efficiency can be complicated to explain, and that may be holding back adoption. In the survey, 18 percent of consumers said they were overwhelmed by the number of different products and technology on the market, while 11 percent said the products were too complex.

Contractors agreed; 64 percent said they need to figure out how to explain the use and benefits to their customers better.

There's still a lot of opportunity and optimism out there on this subject. Nearly every contractor respondent said they'd recommend specializing in energy efficiency to younger contractors.

And as awareness of the cost of energy continues to increase among consumers, demand for energy efficient products and services will likely grow, as well. As David Archer, application consultant and LEED AP for HVAC distributor Mingledorff’s, told me in Geothermal: Opportunities Underground, "We haven't come quite as far as some European countries, but people are definitely more aware that they're paying money for utilities and that they can do something about that."

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