by Pat Lorentz Senior Insight Planner
The push for energy independence is stretching beyond our politicians’ call for natural resource collection on North American soil. In fact, it’s a push that is becoming more popular in homes throughout the U.S. as many homeowners seek to better control their home’s energy consumption and utility costs. What was once seen as an optimistic, yet just-out-of-reach and futuristic source of clean energy, solar power is now being viewed by many homeowners as a legitimate option.
For most, the high costs associated with having a system installed have been a deal breaker. Our recent Energy Pulse™ study, however, shows that a growing number of homeowners are viewing the benefits of solar as outweighing the costs.
For instance, over 30% of our survey respondents said they would be interested in buying their own solar energy system, even if the associated costs reached $30,000. Furthermore, if these same respondents were offered a lease-purchase option, the number that said they would be interested in buying a system for their home increased to 60%.
What isn’t new here is the public’s interest in home solar power. Since the advent of home-based solar collection systems, many – including myself – have stood out in the blazing sunshine of a summer day and wondered why solar panels have yet to be installed on the rooftops of homes, schools and businesses across the country. In the face of terminal supplies of natural resources and the increasing demand for energy independence, a truly renewable and clean source of energy just makes sense.
What is new is the fact that people are increasingly willing to absorb the up-front cost of solar, especially if it leads to assuaging their concerns of energy independence, and helps control their home energy consumption and utility costs.
This is where utility companies have a golden opportunity to work together with their customers who are asking – clamoring, even – for solar. Communicating that there are payment options available that will help alleviate customers’ up-front costs is key. Furthermore, messaging related to the controlled energy consumption and utility costs that come with a home solar energy system will further pique the interest and action of consumers.
Utility companies that act should not be surprised when their customers follow them out into the sun.