Provoke Insights Releases Results of 2017 Residential Solar Industry Research Study

Provoke Insights, a market research and strategy firm, today released the results of its 2017 Residential Solar Industry Study. This is its first in-depth study of the residential solar market which surveyed 2,666 consumers nationwide.  Specifically, the study examined consumer attitudes about purchasing solar power including the decision to go solar, provider choice, aesthetics, cost savings, and overall satisfaction. “People are motivated to buy solar because of the dramatic cost savings,” explains Carly Fink, principal, head of strategy and research, Provoke Insights. “The cost of residential solar to consumers has decreased by 40% over the past 5 years, making the decision to go solar completely viable for an increasing number of homeowners,” she added. The conversation about solar power is often initiated when neighbors see solar panels on other homes; approximately two-thirds of referrals are given in person. The study also revealed underlying factors in solar provider choice, looking at net promoter scores.[1]

Following are study highlights:

  • 41% of those surveyed say that the primary reason for choosing solar is potential savings over time and protection against rate increases from the utility company.
  • More than half of solar users say that 75% of their electric bill is covered by solar.
  • Men are 66% more likely to be the decision-maker in purchasing a solar energy system. Political party affiliation does not dictate the choice to switch to solar.
  • Regarding aesthetics, roof orientation is a concern for 70% of solar energy users; panel aesthetics are a concern among 63% of women vs. 59% of men.
  • 66% of solar energy users would install a solar energy system again if they moved to a different house.
  • 50% of consumers will choose a solar provider based on the recommendation of a neighbor or friend.
  • SunPower leads the way with the highest NPS score in the industry (58 NPS score) followed by SolarCity (39 NPS score).
  • SunPower outranked other industry players for the quality of its installation (57 NPS score) followed by SolarCity, now Tesla (40 NPS score), Sunrun (33 NPS score) and Vivint Solar (30 NPS score).
  • Consumers use three primary payment methods to going solar: Paying cash (36%), financing with a lease (36%) and financing with a solar loan (28%).
  • In this category of solar financing, SunPower (42 NPS) outperformed SolarCity, now Tesla, (40 NPS), Vivint (27 NPS) and Sunrun (13 NPS) respectively.

The Provoke Insights study was commissioned by SunPower to deepen the understanding of consumer motivation and included an online survey among 2,666 decision makers who purchased residential solar panels in the US less than 4 years ago.  The survey was distributed in July 2017 and identified trends, purchasing patterns and customer insights. Statistical differences between subgroups were tested at a 95% confidence level and are indicated by capital letters in the analysis. Margin of error is +/-1.9%.

About Provoke Insights
Provoke Insights is a full-service market research firm and strategy consultancy that helps brands navigate through today’s cluttered marketing and advertising space. Experts in using quantitative and qualitative research, social listening, competitive intelligence, and trends analysis, Provoke Insights works with clients across industry sectors to conduct research and guide brand strategy in order for companies to successfully implement advertising initiatives.