10 States Solar Power is Going Viral and Why

10 States Solar Power is Going Viral and Why

It’s a study proving that referrals are the bread and butter of building, even when it comes to solar power.

SolarCity has found the areas of the country showing major solar growth are where homebuyers are being fueled by referrals or positively influenced by neighbors.

This is important to know, as recent research shows how powerful the solar market has become, and builders need to figure out how to tap into it. For example, more solar panels were installed in the U.S. in 2015 than in any year in history, and 2016 is expected to deliver twice as much. And this is the year that America surpassed its millionth solar installation, providing an historic amount of clean energy.

There are many reasons contributing to the rapid growth of solar power: its cost has plummeted and climate change and pro-solar policies have become more mainstream. But how exactly do American homebuyers decide to use solar? SolarCity has found it is hearing positive things from friends and neighbors.

In fact, the company says more than one in three SolarCity customers have gone solar after being referred by a friend or neighbor. So, builders, it is your job to encourage clients to spread the word. It looks like it’ll pay off.

10 Most Contagious Solar Cities

SolarCity breaks down the 10 states where solar power has become most “contagious.” Taking the top spot for solar contagiousness is Fort Collins, Colorado (69 percent of its solar customers were referred by a friend), closely followed by Kona, Hawaii (64 percent) and Gloucester Township, New Jersey (62 percent).

They all had about a two-thirds referral rate. You can see the full results below.

Courtesy of SolarCity.
Courtesy of SolarCity.

Only six states are represented in the list above, but other states have standout cities, too. You can see in the map below, there are several other communities where a large proportion of solar customers were referred by a friend such as Harwich, Mass. and Brentwood, NY. Peer referrals were the catalyst for nearly half (47 percent) of all solar rooftop installations in these locations.

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Courtesy SolarCity.
Courtesy SolarCity.

Keep in mind, part of this “contagion” could be because of SolarCity’s Solar Ambassador program, where existing customers who refer a new customer get $200 when the panels are installed. The new customer also gets a month of free solar.

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About The Author

Andrea Medeiros is editor-in-chief, multimedia director and content developer at TecHome Builder. She is a former TV news reporter turned home technology guru and is using her broadcast journalism skills to help our team deliver complicated, tech-focused content in a conversational way. She has a decade of experience in the editorial realm—interviewing, writing and editing stories as well as shooting, editing and producing video content. She is most interested in covering interoperability among smart devices.

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1 Comment

  1. Bruce Stenman

    Solar has been expanding with its 7 year payback in areas where it is allowed by the state governments and where homeowners and businesses are not penalized as is the case in Nevada and Ohio and other areas where the Koch brothers and their cronies have influenced corrupt state legislators and governors.

    Study done by a California university of homes in southern California found that home with solar sold for on average $17,000 more than identical homes without solar. The homes without solar also took twice as long to sell. When a solar installation on a house costs less than $17,000 the only cost to the homeowner is the financing cost and that is recovered with lower utility bills from day one.

    Also conveniently omitted is that solar installations provide for the higher demand during the hours when business demand for electricity is highest and homeowner demand for running air conditioners is at a peak and this demand is met by the utilities with zero capital investment. In California the Pacific Gas and Electric company pays homeowners 3 cents per KWH for electricity and then sells it to other homeowners for 34 cents per KWH.

    In addition it has been shown that with smart solar inverters the power grid is buffered and the chance for a brownout developing into a cascading blackout is greatly reduced. Difficult to see how this is not a win win situation for everyone.


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