During the time it took to write this article, the USA’s confirmed cases of coronavirus went from over 43,700 to more than 46,000. With testing expanding here in America, we can expect to see those numbers rise sharply in the coming days and weeks.
The exponential rate of spread has prompted the government to encourage quarantine lockdown. Several states, including California, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Washington, and several others. This has significantly disrupted the operations of many businesses, particularly solar contracting companies. The global impact of the pandemic is also affecting the industry, making it so that American solar contractors are experiencing pressure on all sides.
The original source of the virus, China, is where about 70% of all solar panel production takes place. At this point, China has fortunately gained fair control over the COVID-19’s spread, but that has only been achievable by putting many cities under quarantine. Solar product factories have had to close their doors, and returning to China’s former production levels may take quite a bit of time. Experts predict that it could take until the middle of the year.
Even solar manufacturers outside of China are being affected, as many of these companies rely on Chinese raw materials. Halted or slowed shipments disrupt their production flow as well. So even though the USA’s Section 201 tariffs encouraged many solar companies to turn to non-Chinese manufacturers, these producers may still suffer similarly.
Another concern is that the stock value of many big players in the solar product market have taken big hits. This is leaving these companies in a vulnerable position, and further drops of their share prices may plunge them into deep financial instability.
The effects of all of these problems could manifest in the form of significant product shortages and pricing spikes, both of which can put solar contractors in a very tough spot.
Because solar contractors need to be able to visit the homes of customers, they are especially affected by the lockdown orders. Contractors in a number of states are no longer able to do at-home consultations, and many more will likely find themselves in the same situation soon enough.
Contractors are trying to work around this hurdle by pivoting to telephone and video and consultations, but another problem is arising simply in terms of demand.
Between March 16th and 18th, over 700,000 American workers filed for unemployment insurance. More mass layoffs are certain to follow as more companies are forced to stop operating. Such a seismic disruption in employment rates is causing the economy to fall into a recession.
Consequently, American homeowners are now experiencing heavy financial anxiety. They have no idea when they will be able to return to work, and those who have savings are afraid that it will be lost to simply trying to get by. Big investments like solar installations are going to be off the table for a vast number of homeowners.
In the weeks and months ahead, American contractors can expect to have a difficult time finding solar leads that are ready and able to buy. They’ll need a lot of outside help if they want to earn enough to stay in business.
Companies that offer solar leads for sale can be just the partner that solar contractors need right now. Trustworthy agencies like Grid Freedom have already built a reputation for providing contractors with a steady supply of solar leads, and are perfectly poised to help them get through this challenging period.
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