EnergySage published today its first Solar Marketplace Intel Report™, providing one-of-a-kind visibility into the residential and small-scale commercial solar market in the United States. Based on statistically valid transaction-level data, the industry-first report reveals consumer buying behavior, hardware manufacturer and solar financier market share statistics, the return on solar investment and more for the period of July 2014 through June 2015.
Every day, thousands of solar shoppers enter the EnergySage Solar Marketplace and interact with hundreds of high quality, pre-screened solar installers and financiers across the country. The sum of these interactions results in millions of data points generated by everything from solar installation and financing quotes to solar shopping behaviors and buying preferences. In just two years, the EnergySage Solar Marketplace has facilitated more than $25 million in solar PV system transactions and continues to grow rapidly.
Primarily focused on the residential and small-scale commercial solar market, EnergySage’s new report is a complement to the quarterly research produced by GTM Research and Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), which centers more on industry-wide macroeconomic trends.
Key national findings from the 2H 2014-1H 2015 EnergySage Solar Marketplace Intel Report include:
- Solar installation costs are continuing to fall. In 1H 2015, consumers paid on average $3.79 per watt in gross cost and achieved payback in just 7.5 years. The costs range from $3.21 to $4.37 for standard to high efficiency equipment packages. This data shows that by shopping around first, consumers can save thousands of dollars and select the equipment package that offers them the best value.
- Online solar shoppers are buying their systems outright – instead of leasing. Ninety percent of EnergySage’s solar shoppers elected to own their system, either by paying in cash or financing with a solar loan, rather than sign up for a third-party lease or PPA. This statistic is significantly higher than the 40% of solar shoppers nationwide that choose to own their system.
- Solar is meeting the majority of electricity needs for homeowners. Solar is helping homeowners generate almost 85% of their electricity needs in 2015. The average 7.9 per kilowatt (kW) system generates about $2,000 worth of electricity each year.
- Increasing fragmentation of solar equipment manufacturers & financing companies. In 2H 2014, there were 36 panel brands and 20 inverter brands bid out in the EnergySage Solar Marketplace. By 1H 2015, those numbers increased by 20% to 43 panel brands and 24 inverter brands – with SolarWorld and SMA America maintaining the largest share of their respective markets. Additionally, there are nearly 40 loan providers actively offered to solar shoppers in the online marketplace.
- Installers are not committed to a specific panel or inverter brand. The report shows that installers paired panels with a diversity of inverter brands. Ten of the top 12 panel manufacturers were paired with four or more inverter brands; SolarWorld, the most commonly quoted panel brand, was frequently paired with six different brands of inverters.
“The residential solar market is a vibrant $7 billion industry, and on track to generate more revenue by year-end 2016 than Major League Baseball,” said EnergySage CEO Vikram Aggarwal. “The economics of solar are rapidly changing for solar shoppers, installers, and financiers alike. As demonstrated by the data within our Solar Marketplace Intel Report, it’s becoming more affordable for U.S. households to adopt solar. And, with the increasing consumer adoption of marketplace solutions like EnergySage, it’s also becoming easier for solar installers and financiers to find their customers.”
To download a copy of the EnergySage Solar Marketplace Intel Report, please visit: www.energysage.com/data.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.