An Optimistic Perspective from Home Solar Installers

An Optimistic Perspective from Home Solar Installers

We wrote last month that Mosaic is evolving right alongside broader trends in the home solar industry, and the results of a revealing new survey conducted by EnergySage and pv magazine drives that point home even further.

The survey, conducted between November 9th and December 31st, analyzes responses from over 360 solar installers in 42 states nationwide plus the District of Columbia. Respondents ranged from small local companies installing less than 50 kW annually to large national companies with yearly sales volumes of over 300 MW, making this a truly comprehensive snapshot of the varying perspectives in our industry from the front lines.

Survey Says…

The survey’s findings are worth reading in full, but several highlights were particularly encouraging:

More Solar Loans: The survey reaffirmed the ongoing trend towards homeowners owning their solar via loan financing, and away from leases and PPAs. Not only that, but equipment-backed loans (as opposed to mortgage-backed loans) were the fastest-growing finance , with the number of installers relying on equipment-backed loans for over a quarter of their business more than doubling from 17% in 2015 to 41% in 2016. Installers also reported the highest levels of satisfaction with equipment-backed loans compared to any other financing option, with 91% of small installers, 80% of medium-sized installers, and 84% of large installers “somewhat” to “very” satisfied.

New Home Energy Products: More and more installers are branching out beyond solar, expanding offerings to keep up with the evolving 100% clean energy home. Battery storage is the fastest-growing offering by a significant margin, with three out of five installers already offering battery products and another 16% planning to offer this option in 2017. Electric vehicle chargers are next, with 45% of installers offering them today and 8% planning to add them in 2017. Energy efficiency audits and upgrades are another growth area, with a quarter of solar installers offering these services currently and 6% planning to do so within the year.

Optimistic About Our Industry: Despite perceptions of policy uncertainty following the election, the survey revealed a home solar industry that is becoming more — not less — optimistic about its future. 47% of respondents nationwide reported feeling “more” or “much more” confident about the solar industry compared to last year, compared to 29% feeling less confident. That includes growing confidence from 43% of respondents based in New York, 60% of respondents based in California, and a swaggering 72% of installers in Texas! The most-cited reason for this confidence was the ability of installers to adapt to the evolving market, along with the increasing quality of equipment options.

Working Together Towards a Bright Future

As the leading provider of residential solar loans in America, with over 150 installer partners of all sizes, the findings on financing trends is very much in line with what we’re hearing on the ground. Mosaic is also keeping up with the move towards new product offerings with our recent introduction of battery financing for solar customers in California and Hawaii.

Perhaps most importantly, the strong expression of optimism from installers across the country is music to our ears! We’ve gone on the record several times since the election about our continuing optimism about the future of home solar and the unstoppable clean energy revolution, based on fundamental economic merits as well as the massive popularity of renewable energy with Americans of all political stripes. And we’re excited to be working right alongside so many incredible installer partners to deliver this value, along with great jobs and cleaner air, in communities across the country.

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