According to EnergySage’s recently released Solar Marketplace Intel report, the first in what is said to be a regular series for the solar price comparison service, some 90% of those who ask for quotes and then get solar installed are opting to buy their systems, not lease them.
The report, which details the trends on residential and small-scale solar for the period of July 2014 through June 2015, looked at data on more than 10,000 quotes in the top 10 residential solar states. The company found that instead of solar leasing, which was once hailed as a renewable energy gamechanger (and which can still be an appropriate choice for some), customers are now either paying for their solar installations outright or taking out a loan for the costs.
“Online solar shoppers are buying their systems outright – instead of leasing. Ninety percent of EnergySage’s solar shoppers elected to own their system, either by paying in cash or financing with a solar loan, rather than sign up for a third-party lease or PPA. This statistic is significantly higher than the 40% of solar shoppers nationwide that choose to own their system.” – EnergySage
Although the data from EnergySage includes quite a few transactions, none of them include quotes or installations from SolarCity, the leading residential solar installer, which doesn’t participate in the program, so the trends noted on the report may differ a bit from a ‘real world’ perspective.
Also noted on the report is the fact that the cost of solar continues to come down, with an average price of $3.79 per watt and a payback period of about 7.5 years. The solar costs ranged from $3.21 per watt for standard installations to $4.37 per watt for “high efficiency equipment packages.”
“The economics of solar are rapidly changing for solar shoppers, installers, and financiers alike. As demonstrated by the data within our Solar Marketplace Intel Report, it’s becoming more affordable for U.S. households to adopt solar.” – Vikram Aggarwal, EnergySage CEO
Another highlight of the state of the current solar market in the report was the indication that small-scale solar isn’t just a token effort (albeit a very visible one) toward home energy production, as the data showed that solar “is helping homeowners generate almost 85% of their electricity needs in 2015,” and that the average home 7.9 kW solar array “generates about $2,000 worth of electricity each year.”
Get the rest of the solar insights in the downloadable report at EnergySage.