This may come as a shock (or not), but I’m not a huge sports fan. I root for my Alma Mater Michigan State (Go Green!), and that’s about it. Whereas my husband started planning his Super Bowl menu weeks in advance. Clearly, opposites attract!

We sit in front of the big screen and watch this event together every year. Usually, I’m only there for the commercials — but I will say this year’s game was exciting with lots of conflict between the two teams and a very close game. Go Rams!

The Super Bowl is the most-watched TV event in the U.S., and nearly 100 million people were estimated to have tuned in last month. With so many captive viewers before, during and after the game, advertisers use the annual sporting event as a means of raising awareness for their products. This year, that meant spending an average $6.5 million for a 30-second slot, according to Statista.

What interested me most, however, was the nature of the commercials, which painted a very different picture than previous years. In 2022, there were the most climate-related advertisements of any Super Bowl ever, with most of them focused on electric vehicles as well as an ad for electric charging technology, according to this TIME magazine article.

However, I don’t want to focus on the electric vehicle ads, I want to discuss the POWERHOME SOLAR commercial. It’s not every day an energy efficiency company spends dough like that to promote sustainability to prevent climate change. POWERHOME SOLAR provides high-quality American-made solar panels as part of a complete energy-savings package for residential customers. The company launched in 2014 in Mooresville, North Carolina, and today has more than 2,100 employees, including a commercial division, and operates in 15 states.

The ad, which takes advantage of Smash Mouth’s 1997 hit “Walkin’ on the Sun” to create a themed campaign of “Life Powered by the Sun,” showcases how more and more people are changing how they generate and use energy in today’s world. POWERHOME SOLAR has seen exponential growth over the past year and a half, onboarding nearly 1,500 new employees since the pandemic began to meet the rising demand for solar installations. The ad aired in more than 15 markets across the U.S.

“It’s not every day an energy efficiency company spends dough like that to promote sustainability to prevent climate change.”

All of you plumbing contractors might be asking what a solar PV company has to do with you. I’m so glad you asked! If you flip through the pages of this issue, you’ll come across our newest guest columnist, Ross Goldstein. Ross discusses a solar thermal project his company was hired to complete, and all the things that went wrong. His takeaways can apply to other trades and installations as well, so it’s a definite must-read. As Ross explains, solar thermal installations are a great solution for many projects — when done properly, and he believes now is the time for solar thermal to make a comeback.

Now more than ever before, people are concerned with their energy usage, cost and how it affects the environment. Water heating is a major energy use in both homes and commercial buildings around the world. Hot water accounts for 25% of residential energy use worldwide, while commercial hot water usage is about 12% globally, according to Project Drawdown, a nonprofit organization that seeks to help the world reach a “drawdown” — the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing.

According to the organization, solar water heating can reduce that fuel consumption by 50% to 70%. The world’s first commercial solar water heater was manufactured in the 1890s, and in the early 20th century, the technology became more advanced by adding a separate storage tank. Solar collectors popped up on rooftops across sunny states, such as California and Florida, but cheap energy impeded the industry’s growth in the U.S. Today, these types of systems can be found in many countries in almost every climate. In Israel, 90% of homes, Project Drawdown notes, have solar thermal systems for water heating.

If your company is not offering these types of sustainable solutions to homeowners, you’re missing the boat. Homeowners care about the environment and their impact on it. It’s definitely worth a conversation with your customers. Who knows, you might upsell to a better efficiency system and increase your ticket averages — a win-win situation for both you and your customer.