Community solar projects may possibly give millions of families in the U.S. the right to clean energy, based on a report from Shelton Group and the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA). The report states that possible market for these plans and projects — which enable consumers to purchase a section of the power from a single or larger solar installation which spans from a base of around 3 million families to over 12 million, depends on the marketing and program design.
However, the major problem of connecting clients to community solar could be absence of information. “The study” which is a section of a two-year SEPA invention sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, discovered generally that out of 59 percent of consumers that had interest in solar, only 20 percent were acquainted with community solar.
“Community solar is an influential tool that links or stands in the gap between the public’s wide-ranging interest in solar and ensures that as many people as possible can tap into circulated, clean energy projects,” stated by SEPA’s Utility Strategy Manager, Dan Chwastyk. “The Shelton Group survey offers us both the large picture on structuring markets for community solar and much concrete information which the solar companies and individual utilities need to modify their projects to the requirements and benefits of particular customers.”
According to market research concerning 2,001 residential utility clients and 252 minor business clients all through the country, the report contains profiles of some perfect community solar clients and the information most likely to suit them. Other takeaways consist of:
- Financing and pricing: No huge surprises here — consumers want less expensive options to join into the community solar projects. For instance, a scheme in which a customer rents out a certain quantity of panels in a project, increasing the price of advance payments from $395 to $495 per panel which resulted in a 57-percent reduction in consumer interest.
- Current information on output: Consumers want to be capable of monitoring the output from their portion of a project currently, rather from an app on their mobile phones or through web portals. Program initiators should reflect this feature as essential and very important, and not an optional add-on.
Utility participation: For the people interested in community solar, two-thirds desire programs funded either by their utility or by a solar company associating with their utility.
Education is the Key Point to Promote Community Solar
“Americans adore solar — we’ve observed that in our investigations for years. The minute you receive education about community solar — the definition and how it works — you will also adore community solar, and we’ve noticed strong participating tendencies shown by substantial number of people,” stated by the President and CEO of Shelton Group, Suzanne Shelton. “The task now is filling the education gap. If we require much Americans taking part in community solar, spending a considerable amount of dollars on marketing to assist them realize what it is and how they benefit from it.“
In the last stage of the project, SEPA is making use of the outcome of this survey and projects reports to work with a couple of utilities that are discovering their options for starting up community solar programs. For instance, Chwastyk is supporting the Cathedral in a Village to launch a market survey so as to measure consumer’s interest in community solar within the Ohio town’s 2,850 residents. comment↓