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.
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.
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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