Consumer interest in solar energy continues to rise. Motivating factors for the interest vary. Whether it’s a commitment to reduce carbon emissions or a desire for greater energy resilience, homeowners are seeking to learn how to incorporate solar energy systems into their homes.
More than ever consumers need solar installers to offer a consultative approach and play a significant role in the decision making process. Consumers seek education and clarity around the return on investment (ROI) of a solar energy system and battery storage. And they want to understand upfront how solar financing impacts the affordability of the system.
Here are a few of the top 2022 trends in solar energy systems, driven by these varying consumer motivations.
Homeowners seek electricity bill savings
Homeowners seek more resiliency in their homes
Desire for battery storage and residential energy storage rises
More EVs influence demand for cheaper at-home power
1 – Homeowners seek electricity bill savings.
SolarReviews and US Berkeley’s BEACN group conducted a large-scale home solar survey in early 2021. One of the key findings in the survey report indicated that the primary reason for consumer inquiries into solar was potential electricity bill savings.
Between rebates, tax credits and specialty financing, it can be pretty tricky to illustrate how and when consumers might see a reduction in utility costs. And often, the perception of ROI influences how and if the consumer will seek financing options to move a project forward.
According to the SolarReviews survey, 72.5% of respondents said the initial cost of solar remains the most significant barrier to adoption.
The more complex or less common the home improvement, the more consumers depend on the contractor to educate them on the potential ROI. Additionally, homeowners with less common projects like solar rely on contractors to drive decision making on how best to finance the project. Solar installers and home improvement contractors are becoming savvier at showing up not only as experts in residential solar energy, but also in presenting good/better/best financing options. Understanding the consumer’s motivating factors for interest in solar is a key to educating them on their options, opportunities and buying power.
2 – Homeowners seek more resiliency in their homes.
Extreme weather and disasters across the United States disrupted and threatened utility stability in 2021. The residential SolarReviews annual review of the solar sector revealed a 130% increase in customer quote requests — in correlation to natural disasters. After potential utility cost savings, disaster resilience was another primary driver for consumers seeking solar installation quote requests.
- During the Texas power crisis in February 2021, solar inquiries rose 850%.
- Throughout the summer wildfires in California, solar inquiries were up 358%.
- And the heatwave across the Pacific Northwest, consumer inquiries for residential solar estimates jumped 919%.
While the U.S. Department of Energy keeps pushing for grid modernization to create resilience in the infrastructure, more consumers look to create their own energy independence and resilience with solar energy systems. A key component of that resilience is battery storage.
3 – Desire for battery storage and residential energy storage rises.
Solar energy is essential in creating clean energy and addressing natural disasters resulting from climate change. The third driver of increased solar estimate inquiries noted in the Residential SolarReviews annual review was reduced carbon emissions. Consumers look to see how solar can benefit them on both ends of the climate crisis — resilience and prevention.
Without battery storage for a solar system, the resilient energy will only last so long. For example, when the Texas power crisis lasted for several days, solar was essential and was tested to its limits.
The SolarReviews survey showed that of the respondents that already had an installed solar system, only 11.5% had battery storage. Rapid growth in battery storage installations spans across all of the solar consumer drivers.
The global residential solar energy storage is expected to grow from $6.5 billion in 2021 to $17.2 billion in 2026, according to a Market Data Forecast report. Declining costs and government initiatives with large-scale battery storage are influciening increased adoption of battery storage.
4 – More EVs influence demand for cheaper at-home power.
Pairing solar and electric vehicles (EV) is on the rise. The fluctuation within the current electricity grid can create unpredictable costs. Additionally, with extreme threats to the grid, like the natural disasters in Texas, California and the Pacific Northwest, energy dependability and resilience are becoming ever more necessary for EV owners.
In the last year, SolarReviews saw a 1,000% increase in solar estimate requests from their online guide on the cost to charge a Tesla. The increased adoption of EVs puts additional pressure on the already tested grid system, especially when usage goes up during peak hours for the utility.
“EVs and storage complement each other, and they may also drive more competition in the battery market. Energy storage will play a key role in responding to challenges that will arise as EV charging during on-peak hours becomes more common,” an article from the Energy Storage Association states.
Significant market growth is the trend
Regardless of consumers’ motivating drivers for adopting solar energy systems, this is a market that should continue to grow — and grow more competitive. This increased competition will help to make solar more affordable for more homeowners. You can expect solar inquiries to keep rising, and Mosaic is here to be your solar financing options partner to help your customers maximize their buying power and get the most out of their residential solar energy systems.
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