Energy efficiency has two big benefits for consumers.

One is to live in a more eco-friendly way. Eco-friendly construction is about building in a more sustainable way by using green building materials, sustainable energy and energy efficient methods. This is a trend that is growing and is worth investing in for your business.

The second is one we can all relate to: saving a buck (or many). Energy efficient electrical contracting means using less power, which translates to lower bills. Customers are willing to invest more in infrastructure that will save them over time, so being able to provide those solutions is a great way to up your profits.

With those benefits, a contractor can cash in by adapting his or her business to provide green options. So here are a few ways to offer more energy efficient electrical contracting.

Solar Energy

An oldie, but a goodie. Solar energy has been developing for a while now, but usage has quintupled in the past five years. The cells are become cheaper and more efficient, so you need fewer of them to power the same thing. In addition, last year’s tax bill preserved tax credits for solar power, so you can save money by using them.

Many corporations and over 150 American cities have committed to converting entirely to clean energy, which means lots of new construction and renovations with this in mind. Many states encourage construction that has energy efficiency in mind; check your state’s standards and potential rewards for integrating solar and other renewable energy sources into your work.

Lighting Control System

Lighting control systems use a computer and sensors to provide the right amount of light where and when it’s needed. They can be used on both indoor and outdoor lighting of commercial, industrial and residential spaces. They’re used to maximize the energy savings from the lighting system, satisfy building codes, or comply with green building and energy conservation programs.

If you’re interested in really incorporating this into your business, it’s recommended to do the California Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program (CALCTP), even if you are not California-based. It’s a rigorous 50-hour training class on the proper installation, programming and maintenance of lighting controls. Since these systems are more and more in demand for the financial and environmental benefits, expertise in their installation and maintenance could be a big boost to you business.

Internet of Things

The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is all of the stuff that interacts with and receives information from its environment. Think Amazon Echo or an air conditioner that turns on if it knows you’re on the way home and it’s hot outside. It’s sort of a precursor to artificial intelligence.

Basically, the IoT can be utilized to automatically manage energy efficiency of a home, skyscraper or even of a massive complex. Quality building maintenance helps these spaces to operate at optimum energy levels. They can detect failure or degradation in equipment and alert building management before the replacement or repair is actually needed, saving time and money.

Moreover, the indoor as well as outdoor environment is sensed at all times to give optimal results for ventilation, lighting, fire and security. Over the long term, this can make exceptionally energy efficient buildings. Since energy costs money, that can translate to huge savings.

Smart Meters

Smart meters record energy consumption, send it to the supplier and can display it to the consumer as well. While studies vary, there is some evidence that real-time information on power consumption causes a reduction in consumption and, thereby, cost.

Use of these meters is spotty in the States, at best. Some power companies have them as a standard and reward households that shift energy-usage to off-peak periods, particularly in Texas and California. In addition to helping households understand and adjust their energy consumption, there are other conveniences to the smart meter: power outage detection, remote readings so you don’t have to have an employee come to your home, etc.

Some consumers may start to request them for their own benefit, even where they are not mandated. A knowledge of these meters, their installation and repair could be beneficial to you.

If you want to remain relevant and competitive, you have to be able to provide these products and services. These are just a few examples of ways to expand your business with energy efficient building materials and practices. Look into it and don’t let your competitors get ahead of you on this!