There’s a common term called the “solar coaster” that’s used to describe what it’s like being a solar installer. And while there’s no doubt installers have seen their share of ups and downs, the overall market for solar power continues to grow at a rapid pace.
Years of falling equipment prices, combined with decades of rising utility rates, have made solar an excellent investment — and that’s before accounting for the overall good it does for the planet. And homeowners have taken notice.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) brings the potential for even more growth. The biggest highlight is the extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar until 2032, and restoring it back to its original 30 percent credit. This eliminates a great cause of uncertainty in the industry — but it also removes some of the urgency some consumers may have had to go solar right now.
As we plan for the rest of the year, it can be difficult to make sense of all the competing factors. Where should we look for clues on what to expect during 2023 and beyond?
The cure for uncertainty is hard data. With that in mind, we curated and examined in detail three data sources to help us understand where the solar industry is now, and where it’s going.
The first dataset is Aurora’s own database of solar projects. As the leading provider of design and sales software to the solar installation industry, we anonymized and brought together over six million projects over the past two years to help shine some light on where the solar market is in early 2023.
The residential solar market is made up of two distinct groups: homeowners and solar professionals. Any analysis of the market, then, is incomplete without extensive data on both demographics.
To gain insight into the frame of mind of homeowners, we partnered with Dynata, the world’s largest first-party data research company. In January 2023 we surveyed 1,000 U.S. adult (18+) homeowners about their concerns and intentions about solar, and about solar installers.
To click in the final puzzle piece, in February 2023 we surveyed 898 U.S. solar professionals. We gathered data on what they’re seeing from the sellers’ side of things: how their business is doing, what they’re expecting in the future, what they need to succeed, and their views on homeowner trends.
These three data sources together give us a pulse check of where the solar industry is in 2023, where the potential areas for growth are, and what potential roadblocks lie in wait.