Lower-​income Consumers Buying into Residential Solar Energy

Residential solar energy was long associated with well-​heeled homeowners who could afford to pay the hefty price being charged for rooftop panels. But, technology has improved and energy-​related companies are rolling out financing programs that allow homeowners to invest in solar for little or no money down. These heavily advertised programs are attracting attention and driving sales in the residential market.

Blueshift Honest Research reports that residential solar installations surpassed commercial installations for the first time earlier this year. About 33% of surveyed consumers told researchers they either already have solar or they are planning to have it installed within the next 6 months. Consumers between the ages of 45 and 60 show the biggest interest in this technology with 41.2% either already owning a solar system or expecting to have one in the near future. Millennials also showed a big interest in the technology (37.2%). In addition, 42% of those who are considering solar have household income of less than $25,000.

A recent Forbes article by Larry Myler highlights the attraction. While solar systems can run between $10,000 and $30,000, they also generate sufficient savings over a 20-​year period to allow a homeowners to cover their costs. For consumers who don’t have the money up front, solar companies offer free installation with a 20-​year lease contract  and a Power Purchase Agreement which requires the homeowners to buy the power they generate.

Alternative energy users tend to be male (67.8%) and nearly 80% own their homes according to AudienceSCAN research. This audience over-​indexes for intended purchases of investment properties, gold and silver, and stocks in the next year.  About ½ of this audience has clicked on a text link ad in a website which is over 100% more than average.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.