EnergySage, an online comparison-shopping marketplace for rooftop solar, energy storage, community solar and financing, and the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) have released the results of the fifth annual Solar Installer Survey.
The 2019 report captures key observations about the U.S. solar industry from local, regional and national solar installers. Over 770 residential and commercial installers across the country participated in this year’s survey, which was fielded and authored by EnergySage in partnership with NABCEP.
Among this year’s central findings is that confidence in the solar industry continued its upward trajectory. Despite market and policy uncertainty, the percentage of nationwide installers that expressed growing confidence in the industry doubled from 2016 to 2019. At the state level, installer confidence remained high in California, with a number of respondents attributing their optimism to amplified consumer interest in solar due to utility power shut-offs. Conversely, installer confidence waned in New Jersey due to changes in the state’s incentive program.
“At a time when it’s become clear that solar energy can provide clean energy and create jobs and economic growth, this survey shows that installers are deeply engaged in growing the industry and supportive of sensible bipartisan policy,” says Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA.
“The growing role of storage and community solar as a part of these companies’ portfolios demonstrates the continued emphasis on new opportunities in the solar industry,” she adds.
Nearly half of this year’s respondents say customer acquisition remains the primary barrier to growing their businesses (though about one-third reported it got easier in 2019). It’s also not getting any cheaper, as 37% of installers report no difference in price, and 34% say that customer acquisition has become more expensive.
However, one notable change from 2018 to 2019 concerned installers’ most frequently used customer acquisition channels: while the use of all other channels remained flat (or declined) year over year, installers’ use of online bidding platforms more than doubled.
EnergySage fielded the survey between Dec. 13, 2019, and Jan. 25, 2020. Installers across 48 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands too part.
EnergySage’s latest solar installer survey can be downloaded for free here.
All solar installers who download the survey are invited to participate and have their voice heard in the 2020 edition.
Photo: EnergySage’s landing page