Solar savvy: Consumers doing their homework
December 21, 2015 | By Barbara Vergetis Lundin
EnergySage has captured some key observations in terms of residential solar markets and released them in its annual solar survey.
In its survey of more than 100 solar installers across the United States, EnergySage found that the main challenge in the industry is the sheer number of competitors -- with most respondents stating they face between 15 and 20 competitors in their territories alone.
Adding to the threat of competition is that homeowners really do their research. As they shop around, homeowners it is common for homeowners to receive multiple quotes, an average of two to three per shopper, before making the decision to go solar.
There are plenty of installers for shoppers to choose from – 56 percent say there are at least 15 competitors in their territory alone.
The survey results indicate that cash is still king -- more than half of respondents do not offer a single lease or power purchase agreement (PPA) product. Instead, they report cash purchases and unsecured loans as the most popular financing routes.
Further, more than 75 percent of those surveyed say that photovoltaic (PV) installations are their primary line of business.
Looking ahead, respondents said that new online sales channels and partnerships will be key to sustained growth.
"The study demonstrates that there is very healthy competition in the solar industry, which we can maintain with extension of the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO, Solar Energy Industries Association. "Paired with our Solar Market Insight report, which shows record adoption of solar over the next five quarters, this study affirms that our nation is developing a competitive and economically robust solar industry that will only get bigger and stronger with the right policies in place."
In the near future, EnergySage will conduct an Investment Tax Credit (ITC) focused, as well as reissue its annual Solar Installer Survey. EnergySage is an independent comparison-shopping website for solar energy systems and financing options powered by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative.
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