One of the biggest names in the industry, Aurora Solar, has just released an important survey.
Aurora's solar design software is used by 80% of the top 75 US installers, with over 10 million sites already having been designed on it. So when Aurora speaks, the industry listens.
In order to get the broadest perspective, Aurora surveyed 898 solar professionals as well as 1,000 homeowners. The homeowners were about their concerns and intentions regarding solar power, while the pros were queried on a number of issues, including:
What's currently driving their business?
What trends do they see now or expect to see in the future?
What do they need to do to succeed?
After tabulating all their data, Aurora was able to identify three major trends for the 2023 US residential solar market as well as some of the reasons they've occurred.
Heightened interest in going solar
Increased interest in solar batteries to store excess energy
A surge in electric vehicle owners adopting solar
Aurora cites 2022's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as a key factor driving these trends.
The IRA didn't just extend the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) all the way through 2032. It also raised the credit from 26% to 30%, essentially providing almost a 1/3 discount on the cost of going solar.
Besides the obvious factor of eliminating uncertainty, Aurora found that extending the ITC also removed a significant amount of pressure by giving homeowners more time to make a decision.
The current bout of inflation plaguing our economy was also a major reason interest in solar power is surging. Not surprising, considering that energy prices have been rising even faster than the general inflation rate.
In perhaps the biggest news, Aurora found that, in the past year alone, a full one in ten homeowners had transitioned to solar power.
Other key takeaways were:
- Nearly 77% of respondents either already have solar or are interested in purchasing it.
- 55% of millennials believe financing options are important.
- 40% of millennials have solar on their homes.
- 64% of baby boomers said high system and installation prices are their main concern
- 43% of Gen Z said being more sustainable was their biggest concern
The big takeaway from the industry responses is that 70% reported that their businesses are growing. Other notable responses from the pros include:
91% of solar pros have seen increased interest from homeowners in the past year.
83% have seen increased interest in energy storage paired with solar.
79% said EV adoption led to their interest in solar.
45% said that the Inflation Reduction Act stimulated their interest.
Unfortunately, despite all the heightened interest, Aurora also identified several myths about solar power that still persist in the public's mind.
34% falsely believe that solar panels are less efficient in the winter.
21% falsely believe that solar panels require a lot of maintenance.
17% falsely believe that installing solar panels will make it more difficult to sell their home.
27% falsely believe that the process of installing solar is lengthy and difficult.