Solar Energy Systems: The Good and Bad News About What’s Keeping Consumers from Installing Solar Panel Systems.

A recent EnergySage survey found that close to 90% of the consumers surveyed had at least some level of interest in a buying a solar panel system (and the same applies to other clean energy systems like solar hot water, solar thermal, geothermal, small wind turbine systems). So, if interest is so high, why aren’t more people investing in a solar energy system?

The Research: Why Interested Solar Buyers Aren’t Sure Yet

We asked, and here’s what we found out. Many consumers are reluctant to make the decision to install a solar energy system due to misinformation or incomplete information about the nature of the investment. In other words, consumers are reluctant to invest in solar energy systems simply because they can’t be sure that it’s a sound investment to make. Here are some of the specific concerns that consumers have:

  1. Upfront investment: A lot of people are concerned about the initial cost of a solar energy system. Specifically, they don’t know or are misinformed about:
    • What these systems actually cost—and it is often a lot less than people think.
    • All of the financing options that are available (including solar loans and solar leases & power purchase agreements), and how they can be used to spread the cost of initial investments out over time.
    • The tax credits and rebates that are available, and how that can reduce the initial up-front cost of clean energy systems by 30% – 50%.
  2. Cost/Benefit: Most people don’t know, or aren’t convinced:
  3. Time consuming process: Most consumers do not know where and how to begin researching solar power systems, much less where or how to purchase one. This can be a deal-breaker before the process of inquiring about solar power systems even begins. Once their research is complete, many find the process of finding an installer, determining the right financing method, and getting / comparing quotes to be a long and cumbersome process.
  4. Installation complexity: Many people believe it will be very a very complicated process to install a solar panel system, and that it will require structural improvements or other expenses before they can install a solar panel system. The truth is that installations are generally pretty straightforward.
  5. Concern about maintenance: People just aren’t sure how much or what kind of maintenance is required, how frequently it is required, and who they would call if the system needed repairs or maintenance.

Those are a lot hurdles to overcome! But there is good news. Most of these concerns can be addressed. We’ve found that by providing consumers with the information they need and access to other consumers who have gone before them, we can instill the confidence necessary to move ahead, make that call to an installer, and get the process rolling.

Take your time. Explore EnergySage. Learn about solar energy systems; learn how you can finance it; and learn from other users who had the same questions you have now, and who are willing to share answers. And finally, learn how to find reputable solar installers, obtain and compare project proposals, and install a solar energy system that will benefit you, your family, and your home or business.

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