Solar technology is predicted to comprise a measurable component of renewable energy programs in the U.S. but investment and installations are proceeding at a very slow pace. A recent study on this topic found that 1178063_solar_panelimproved marketing initiatives will be required to grow consumer interest in solar energy. The Clean Energy Group is encouraging solar marketers to connect with consumers using marketing messages that emphasize the financial and value benefits of this alternative technology.

The results of their study find that consumers still have concerns about solar. Here’s why consumers say they are not installing solar energy systems in their homes:

  • Initial out of pocket costs were too high 47%
  • Home/roof not available 7%
  • Achieved savings weren’t significant 4%
  • Too complicated 4%

As a result of findings like these, companies in the solar industry are expected to change the way they market the technology. Solar companies will invest significantly in educational Web sites to help consumers understand the technology and to explain the benefits of using tax credits to keep down the initial investment.  More companies will align their message with local celebrities and sports teams to increase awareness of their offerings.  Other companies will partner with local builders to showcase the benefits of solar technology in new homes.

Currently, over 1/3 of consumers wait over 2 years between the time they decide to purchase a solar system and actually install one. Another 23% of consumers need between 1 to 2 years to complete the sales cycle. Increased and more targeted marketing should help companies improve these statistics.

[Source: Clean Energy Group, Smart Solar Marketing Strategies, August 2009]