Integrators Look for ‘Green’ Opportunities to Boost Revenue


Economic challenges are forcing residential systems contractors to diversify their services with green and retrofit opportunities in an effort to boost revenues, according to a new report by research firm Park Associates and the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA).

The majority of residential systems integrators have had average revenues fall nearly 17 percent since 2007, according to the report. The decline is largely due to the lack of new home construction and dwindling consumer spending.

Parks Associates conducts quarterly surveys of the home systems channel, including online surveys of integrators who install home controls, entertainment systems and energy management solutions.

“Integrators are feeling the effects of the recession, and they don’t expect their new-home business to improve in the near future,” says Bill Ablondi, director, home systems research, Parks Associates. “They are adjusting their businesses to account for the down economy by concentrating more on preexisting homes, retrofit, and lower-cost solutions.”

Integrators who traditionally installed expensive control and entertainment systems in new homes are now focusing on retrofit jobs to bolster their revenues, according to the report.

The survey also found that almost one-third of integrators have installed some type of energy-monitoring system in the last year.

“Almost all integrators are willing to make significant changes in their businesses to adapt to the economic realities of today,” Ablondi says. “One potential area of significant growth is in energy management, where integrators could serve an important role linking consumers to utilities. The energy industry needs to reach out to integrators to increase their knowledge of Smart Grid technologies.”

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