Solar installers are shopping around more for solar panels, but inverter brand loyalty is increasing — along with system prices — according to the latest Solar & Storage Marketplace Report from EnergySage.
Info in this semiannual report from EnergySage is drawn from millions of transaction-level data points generated by quotes sent to homeowners shopping on EnergySage.com throughout the entirety of 2022 for solar panels, inverters, batteries, and more from solar companies in 41 states and Washington, DC.
“2022 was a transformative year for the solar and energy storage industry, marked by moments of celebration as well as new obstacles to overcome,” said EnergySage CEO and founder Vikram Aggarwal. “While the solar tax credit was extended and expanded under the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act in August, we also saw California pass new rules that negatively affect its net metering program.”
Takeaways from the report
Solar prices continue to increase, rising over six percent year-over-year. Ongoing equipment supply constraints continue to impact pricing, as the quoted price of solar on EnergySage has increased to $2.85 per Watt, a 6.7 percent increase since the lowest price in early 2021. The installed cost of energy storage is up as well, increasing by $50 per kWh stored, or 3.9 percent, in 2022. Only 3.5% of quotes include batteries priced below $1,000/kWh stored.
Solar panel market share shifts. In the second half of 2022, Q CELLS overtook REC as the most frequently quoted panel brand on EnergySage with more than one-quarter of all quotes including Q CELLS panels. Additionally, as installers looked to secure their supply during shortages in 2022, the share of quotes represented by the top three brands on EnergySage continued to drop – from 66 percent in 2021 to 58 percent in 2022.
Part of the shift may be the interest in larger panels and higher wattages:
“Installers are increasingly quoting larger solar panels In the second half of 2017, 16% of quotes on EnergySage included solar panels rated to produce 330 Watts or more. Five years later, during H2 2022, 99.7% of quotes on EnergySage included panels rated at 330 Watts or greater, while over 18% of quotes included solar panels rated to produce more than 400 Watts.”
And yet, installer brand loyalty continues to increase. In the second half of 2022, 59 percent of installers offered only a single inverter brand, the highest level of brand loyalty since EnergySage began tracking this information in 2014. Similarly, over one-third of installers only worked with a single solar panel brand in H2 2022, the highest level since 2015. More than just installer brand loyalty, these trends provide insight into consumer choice and supply chain availability as well. Enphase remained the most quoted inverter and battery storage brand.
“Only 15% of installers offered more than two different brands of inverters, while 36% of installers quoted more than two different brands of solar panels.”
— Solar Builder magazine