Findings of 2015 Solar Installer Survey Reveals Fierce Competition and Increasingly Savvy Shoppers

Solar Installer Survey
Image courtesy of U.S. DOE

EnergySage released the results of its inaugural 2015 Solar Installer Survey, which captures the key observations of local and regional solar installers in both residential and commercial markets. More than 100 experienced solar installers across the United States provided data for the survey.

Among the highlights of the survey, one top challenge cited by installers is the sheer number of competitors, with most respondents stating they face between 15 to 20 competitors in their territories alone. Another theme noted was how common it’s become for today’s homeowners to receive multiple quotes before going solar, with the average coming in around two to three quotes per shopper. Additionally, in looking ahead, solar installers specified that new online sales channels and partnerships will be key to driving sustained growth.

“Today’s local and regional solar installers face an increasingly competitive landscape,” said EnergySage CEO Vikram Aggarwal. “Solar installers tell us they need access to qualified prospects at lower marketing costs, as well as better financing options and more market information, in order to succeed in 2016. While EnergySage’s online solar marketplace already helps installers lower their costs of customer acquisition tremendously, we now plan to roll out new product enhancements in the coming months to better support their needs for financing options and increased data availability.”

Other key findings from EnergySage‘s Solar Installer Survey include:

  • Competition is fierce – There are plenty of installers for shoppers to choose from, with most (56%) installers facing off against at least 15 competitors in their territories alone.
  • Multiple quotes now common – The majority of solar installers report that their shoppers saw two to three quotes before making a purchase decision, signaling the rise of the increasingly savvy solar shopper.
  • Cash is still king – Over half of solar installers 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.
  • PV is primary – More than 75% of solar installers surveyed say that photovoltaic (PV) installations are their primary line of business. The next most popular selections were electrical, design engineering and consulting.

“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.”

EnergySage plans to field an Investment Tax Credit (ITC) focused installer survey early in Q1 2016, as well as reissue its annual Solar Installer Survey later in the year. All solar installers who download this survey will be invited to participate and have their voice heard in the 2016 edition. To download this year’s survey, please visit:

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