Exporting has been the lifeline of Ecosolaris, a Saint-Jérôme SME specializing in off-grid solar energy and radiant floors.

In 2009, Martin Lambert founded Ecosolaris, which then specialized solely in the sale and installation of electrical systems powered by solar energy. “It was perhaps not the best idea that came to me, electricity [in Quebec] being the cheapest in North America and the climate, the most difficult in Canada. Instinctively, starting a solar panel company here… let’s just say it took longer than if I had started this company in California,” he laughs.

Although his company obtained a few contracts in the province, mainly to supply outfitters and hunting camps located too far away to connect to the Hydro-Québec network, the entrepreneur was unable to make ends meet.

Ecosolaris therefore opens a branch in Benin. “We tried to sell in Africa because the demand was huge,” says Martin Lambert. This self-financed experiment ended in failure. “It was a monumental source of financial loss and grief,” admits the entrepreneur.

In 2016, Ecosolaris acquired GTGlobe, a manufacturer of radiant floor components that had been in business since 2003. “We searched really wide for a long time trying to make ends meet. That’s kind of how the radiant came in. It’s a complementary division,” says Lambert. “We tried a lot of business to keep profitability and credibility. That’s kind of how the solar heat pump came about, which was a bit of a revelation,” he continues.

Powered by solar energy, the Ecosolaris heat pump produces three to four times more energy in heating or air conditioning than it consumes. It was this heat pump that opened the floodgates to international export… and profitability.

“We made two, three YouTube videos that were a bit boboche and I would sometimes say to myself from Dubai: “I saw your heat pump and we would like to invite you to come and talk about your product.” That’s how we started exporting a lot more, “says Martin Lambert.

In addition to the magic of social networks, the SME of about fifteen employees sells its products on the web, on its site, but also on that of the giant Amazon. Thus, since 2020, the entrepreneur claims to have experienced a real explosion in his exports. The United States, the Caribbean and the rest of Canada are its main customers. In addition to heat pumps, demand is high for the lithium batteries and systems for recreational vehicles offered by the Saint-Jérôme company.

Generating about a third of its turnover outside Quebec, Ecosolaris won the “New Exporter” prize last year at the MercadOr Laurentides competition, which recognizes a company that has been exporting internationally for less than five years. This year, she is a finalist in the same category for the national MercadOr competition.