The number of broadband households that have adopted rooftop solar panels doubled to 4 percent in the period 2013 to 2015. Seven percent of U.S. broadband households said they plan to purchase solar panels in the next 12 months, according to new research from Parks Associates.
“Consumers are interested in taking an active role in the energy grid -- 40 percent of U.S. broadband households are very interested in the ability to store unused power and sell it back to the grid,” Tom Kerber, director of research for home controls and energy at Parks Associates, said in a statement.
The enthusiasm for investing in solar and storage has to be taken with a grain of salt, however. Approximately the same number of respondents said they’d be interested in buying a wind turbine as those who expressed interest in an electric vehicle (about 5 percent), although viable options for electric vehicles are far more readily available than small wind generation for individual households.
Even so, the growing interest shows that people are more aware of solar and interested in different ways to pay for it. Leasing was the least popular choice across the board for home energy solutions, including solar panels and energy storage.
Respondents said they are also increasingly interested in solar as a packaged offering, particularly with their existing electricity bill. To take advantage of this, some utilities are launching their own rooftop solar businesses. Solar providers, on the other hand, are trying out additional offerings, from smart thermostats to internet service.
The figures regarding interest in solar energy from Parks Associate may just scratch the surface, as more people realize just how economical solar has become. New data from GTM Research shows that 20 states are at grid parity for residential solar, with 42 states expected to reach that point by the end of the decade.