How to Clear Solar Installation BacklogsWith Drones

With the market for residential solar heating up this year, many solar installers are facing major project backlogs that make it difficult to meet growing demand. Growing backlogs is common at this time of year. For example, at the end of 2020, SunPower reported nearly 50,000 backlogs across its dealer network, its highest ever volume.  

Backlogs mean your sales efforts have been successful, but how do you clear them out?

Are your bottlenecks in the site survey or design process? If so, there’s a better way to conduct surveys and effectively boost the bottom line: by adopting IMGING drone software for solar site surveys.  

 At Loveland Innovations, we reduce creation costs with faster site surveys with our innovative IMGING technology.  In addition to performing a site survey, our IMGING technology provides CAD-ready models, full site documentation, and the most recent shading data available  — all from the same automated drone flight. Our drone-based surveys also: 

  • Enable 360-degree horizon scans at two heights above a structure; 
  • Provide inspection-grade 3D models; and 
  • Capture extra photos as needed manually with guided prompts, such as electric panels or attic photos
  • DXF exports ready for CAD

Traditional site surveys are often a long, tedious process. The manual nature of site surveying and manually creating drawings in CAD can result in inconsistent data along with the obvious risks whenever your employees are on a roof, hindering your team’s overall productivity. With IMGING drone technology, you can complete site surveys in as few as 10 minutes, helping your team work faster and clear your backlog.  

Calculating the Value of Drone-Based Surveys  

Let’s say your average site surveyor completes four surveys a day, or roughly 80 surveys per month. By using IMGING, our customers are easily adding at least two additional site surveys per day per surveyor, meaning your team has the potential to  bump that number up to 120 surveys a month. Darryl Harrison, Engineering Manager for Baker Electric Home Energy stated “We’ve transitioned to using the drone and have seen our survey time drop from 2 hours to 45 minutes to an hour on site.”  

What impact would conducting two more site surveys a day have on your business? How about a potential $360,000? Assuming the average cost of a residential system is $15,000, this number is entirely possible. Let’s look at a few examples… 

Such a dramatic change would not only help your business clear survey backlogs, but it would also mean more time to draw up CAD designs, leading to faster install times, and provide leverage to skyrocket your sales. 

The right site survey solution will provide value well beyond the survey itself. With prebuilt ultra-accurate CAD models ready for export, your design team could increase their output by 25% overnight.  

There are a ton of other benefits, too. With IMGING, your business may be able to: 

  • Reclassify insurance coverage: With drones, your surveyors will be flying drones not climbing roofs. You may be able to speak to your insurance workers’ compensation agent and renegotiate your terms, resulting in significant business savings. 
  • Reduce fuel costs: Drones are portable technology, so there isn’t a need to transport ladders and harnesses in big work trucks or vans. This allows your business to shrink its footprint and decrease fuel costs. 
  • Improve employee satisfaction: By reducing the manual labor, safety risks, and time associated with traditional site surveys, employees report more satisfaction in their roles, reducing high turnover rates during a very difficult time to hire.
  • Using drone technology for solar site surveys can also help businesses reduce their change order frequency by up to 10%, saving thousands of dollars each year.  

Get Started with IMGING

Equipping your surveyor team with drone technology is easy. We make it easy to get started and will be there every step of the way to help you clear your backlog and scale your business.  

There’s no need to hire additional staff. Every customer has a dedicated account manager to walk you through the process of building a solar drone program. We have partnered with the leading training program for commercial drone pilots Drone Pilot Ground School to help surveyors earn their FAA pilot certification and fly with confidence. With their 99% + exam pass rate, you won’t need to worry about adopting IMGING drone-based software into your business. Our customer support team is staffed and trained to help in-field operators fly safely and successfully so your business can effectively get the precise data, detailed 3D models, and time-savings you need.   

You don’t have to let backlogs slow you down. Get in touch with a member of our team, learn how your DPF can pay for IMGING, and let your business fly.  


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