Survey: Solar installer competition getting fierce


EnergySageEnergySage 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.

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.

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Specifically from EnergySage’s Solar Installer Survey:

• 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 reported 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.”

— Solar Builder magazine



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