Hi and welcome back to the blog! We were reading an article by talented blogger Lucy Pearson (creator of The Literary Edit) this morning on what we can learn from Finland, the happiest country on the planet, about the nature of happiness. We found ourselves asking how can we at ASK Renewables, apply those ideas to helping you?
At ASK we are more concerned about how you feel during every interaction with us than how long the sales process takes, how long you take to make up your mind that solar is for you or indeed whether you choose us to install your solar system or another reputable company who does solar well. The Finnish idea is that contentment comes from finding a balance between having too much and too little. This sounds a bit weird, at first, from a customer service point of view, but it really lines up with how we think about solar and our community of self-generators. Balance and contentment appear to be the lesson so let’s explore how we go about doing that.
What you need vs. what you want
It’s natural to want the biggest and the best but striking a balance between price and effective, efficient generation has always been one of our main aims. Why not try to sell the biggest, fanciest systems you can if you’re a business? Because we want to install systems that make us proud and you happy. So we will always advise you to get a system that reflects your needs, not too much and not too little. Solar that really works for each individual on a case-by-case basis is an art and a science and we love to get it right. Leaving you feeling content and happy with your new system
A healthy dose of pessimism
It turns out that the pursuit of happiness is also aided by a more pessimistic point of view. Finns have several sayings about the nature of happiness, they include, “The pessimist will never be disappointed”. We think that as Brits we could earn medals for pessimism if it was an Olympic sport! So we are on the right track. Our nod to pessimism comes from considering the worst-case scenario. Imagine a rainy bank holiday. Will your solar system still be paying its way? We calculate your generation and return on investment taking that into account. Ambient light still contains those photons that keep your electricity shifting so you feel content with your system even in the midst of winter. Which means that on a hot summer day you will be overjoyed! Finns’ lower expectations mean that contentment is never a big reach and we design our solar systems with that in mind.
One of the key measures of happiness in a country is equality and Finland is one of the most equal countries in the world. Now let’s face it, the huge price of electricity has had a huge effect on people’s living standards lately. The sun is a free and abundant source of energy and we can design systems for every type of home, from the smallest to the largest, which gives all of our customers the opportunity to lower their bills and make their finances more predictable in the long term. Every installation we do provides an opportunity to make the country more equal, giving every customer the feeling of independence and control over their own power.
How free do you feel? Another of the key measures of happiness, freedom is an expression of how much you are able to act independently and of your own free will. Now we are big fans of this measure because giving people the freedom to choose their own path is one of our missions. Solar systems give you a measure of independence from the grid, utility bills, and control over the wider issues that affect your outgoings every month. From significantly bringing down bills on smaller installations to complete off-grid energy independence, we put every customer on the path to greater freedom.
Have you ever felt like it’s all a bit much? Confusion, anxiety and worry are feelings that won’t make you happy. Knowledge and confidence that you have good information leads to a happier state of mind. Finland has one of the best education systems in the world which leads to greater happiness for its people. We believe that our customer education needs to be excellent to ensure you feel confident at all times that you have access to good information. You can always get ahold of one of our team at ASK. We’ll always be here to answer your questions and support you before and after you have had your system installed. No long telephone queues and hours on hold, just a friendly voice you can get hold of quickly. We’re also developing new materials and videos all the time to help you understand and get the best out of your system.
What’s really going on? Dealing with tradespeople can feel a bit opaque. Not sure what the mechanic is really doing with your car? Or dealing with someone who uses a lot of technical jargon to cover the fact that they aren’t being straight with you? This can leave you feeling uneasy. Not happy or contented.
In 2022 Finland ranked second out of 180 countries for transparency [see here]. This helps to reduce corruption and leaves their people feeling that their government are accountable. Accountability and transparency are important to us too. You’ll receive a full engineering report from one of our engineers when we design your system. We’ll be accountable to that report all the way through your fitting and years later when we’re still there to answer your questions.
Finland can teach us a lot about what to look for when we consider our happiness. Hopefully, some of the factors outlined in this article can help you to understand when you are happy and how to figure out what the reason is when you are not. A reputable solar provider puts your happiness first, guiding you every step of the way. Knowing that you’re in good hands with a team that cares leaves you feeling confident and gently content with your purchase and its positive impact on your life.
By finding that sweet spot of contentment through sustainable living, financial stability, and a seamless installation experience you pave the way to a happier future. If you have any thoughts on this article or can think of ways that we can make our service even more happy-making, then please join us on Facebook. We’ll be waiting to hear from you.
Lucy Pearson is a freelance writer, book blogger, host of The Bondi Literary Salon and creator of The Literary Edit. If you have a few minutes, “I looked for happiness in the world’s most contented nation – and learned the importance of pessimism” is definitely worth a read.
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At ASK Renewables we value your input and want to encourage you to ASK questions. Please let us know what you think on this topic. We can’t wait to hear from you.