New Insights into Homeowners’ Thoughts on Residential Solar

Residential installers need as much insight as possible into homeowners’ thoughts on solar power.

This crucial information builds better customer personas to improve marketing and sales strategies. This, in turn, can assist installers with moving prospects down the sales funnel and potentially closing more deals.

A recent study and survey both revealed some new insights into the thoughts and decision-making process of homeowners when it comes to solar. Let’s take a look at their findings, and what it means for residential solar installers.


The main preconceptions discouraging homeowners

A recent study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) found that three main cognitive biases contribute to discouraging homeowner investment in solar panels. The three biases - myopia, inertia and herding - can cause homeowners to significantly underestimate, or even ignore, the direct economic benefits they’d receive by investing in rooftop solar.


Myopia - This arises from customers focusing too closely on very short future time horizons for a cost/benefit comparison of the rooftop PV system. Essentially, homeowners are failing to grasp the long-term savings they get from solar panels and are too worried about the upfront costs.


Inertia - This bias is the tendency for individuals to maintain the status quo. Often, people will simply continue doing things the same way they have always done them, with little consideration for change.


Herding - Herding stems from people basing their choices on the observed actions of their friends and neighbors. If no one else seems to be getting solar, then people can be hesitant to take the first step. Conversely, if people in the neighborhood are installing solar panels, homeowners are more inclined to get their own.

Installers can help homeowners overcome the first two biases by helping them better understand the long-term financial gains they get from solar power. This includes lower electricity bills and potentially even an increased property value.

Another option is to promote the use of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). A residential PPA means homeowners don’t have to deal with the upfront cost and can still reap the benefits of solar power.

Solar loans also offer another potential option for homeowners looking to avoid large upfront investments. Solar loans also offer homeowners the opportunity to keep the investment tax credit for themselves.

Well-informed and -enforced local standards can foster greater solar panel adoption in communities, which can overcome the herding bias. Installers can work with local governments to push these policies, although this can be a long-term process.


That cold lead might not be cold

SolarReviews and the University of California Berkeley’s BEACN consulting group recently surveyed more than 400,000 homeowners who requested a solar quote on SolarReview’s website between 2016 and 2020. The massive survey provided a wealth of data, but one of the more illuminating findings involves the timeline from lead to installation.

While three months is the most common lead-to-installation timeline, many homeowners stay interested in rooftop solar for many months and even years after their initial call. In fact, 68% of all respondents who have not yet installed solar and were not in the process of doing so, claimed they were still interested in installing a solar system in the future.

Installers may want to consider rethinking their long-term marketing campaigns to heat up these cold leads.


More bang for their buck

Obtaining a better return on their investment remains the most important factor driving homeowners’ decision-making process about installing rooftop solar. This is no big secret.

However, finding the best solar panels to deliver homeowners even more bang for their buck can be the tricky part.

The new 405W PV panels can be the solution installers need to achieve this goal. The 405W panels are small in size but big on power, and provide homeowners with:


●      Up to 30W-60W higher power

●      Higher yield up to 10-23%

●      More productivity compared to the same-sized roof using larger panels

●      Diverse installation solutions


The increased power gain and reliability can potentially be the difference maker for homeowners seeking a better return on their investment.


Reach out to Trina Solar to learn more about the 405W Vertex S modules.


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