New solar stars drive continued market expansion
SAN FRANCISCO--Sunrun, the nation's largest home solar company, and PV Solar report, an authority on solar market data, today announced a new list of high-growth solar cities in California. These 13 cities helped drive California home solar market growth to 80% so far this year. They reflect continued solar adoption in median-income communities, rather than the wealthiest areas of the state.
The high-growth cities were evaluated by percent growth through May 31, 2012 as compared to the same timeframe in 2011.* While solar adoption continues to surge in traditional solar hot beds like Fresno and Bakersfield, new solar leaders like Santa Clarita, Castaic and Palmdale are also leading the charge. Solar service models that allow homeowners to go solar without the high upfront costs help drive adoption. Rankings are as follows:
1. Santa Clarita
9. Apple Valley
11. Canyon Country
"This list shows undeniable solar growth in a diverse range of cities, debunking the common misconception that solar is only for the wealthy," said Stephen Torres, founder and managing director of PV Solar Report. "Key to this diversification is third-party-owned solar, which makes solar affordable for a wider range of homeowners."
In 9 of the 13 high-growth cities, at least 75% of homeowners preferred solar service over buying panels. The model helps push solar into median income zip codes. For example, the average for median annual household income across all 13 high-growth cities was approximately $57,000. This is a far cry from wealthy coastal cities like Malibu, which has a median annual household income of $160,000 according to the latest US census data.
"Home solar is at the tip of the iceberg in terms of growth," said Sunrun President and co-Founder Lynn Jurich. "As costs continue to drop and more homeowners realize they can go solar without high upfront payments, adoption will scale exponentially."
Sunrun eliminates the high upfront costs often associated with home solar. The Company owns, insures, monitors and maintains solar panels on a homeowner's roof. Families pay a low rate for clean energy and fix their electric costs for 20 years. Sunrun installs over $1.5 million in solar every day, completing one rooftop installation every 11 minutes of the business day.
Beyond California, the national solar industry continues to grow at a rapid pace. As reported last week by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), installations nationwide have grown by 85 percent in the last year. Currently, more than 100,000 Americans are employed at over 5,600 solar companies in all 50 states.
An executive brief on the California data is available here.
*State growth measured in total kW-DC represented by rebates reserved in the California Solar Initiative database (California utilities SDG&E, PG&E, SCE). Percent growth for cities measured by total number of rebates reserved in CSI database.
Sunrun is the nation's largest home solar company and invented solar power service, a way for homeowners to go solar without the high upfront costs. Sunrun owns, insures, monitors and maintains the solar panels on a homeowner's roof, while families pay a low rate for clean energy and fix their electric costs for 20 years. Since Sunrun introduced solar power service in 2007, it has become the preferred way for consumers to go solar in the nation's leading solar markets. More than 20,000 homeowners in 10 states have chosen Sunrun, and the Company partners with over 25 leading local solar companies who together employ more than 3,000 workers. Sunrun has attracted enough capital to support the purchase of $1 billion in solar systems from investors including U.S. Bancorp and raised $145 million in venture capital from Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, Foundation Capital, and Madrone Capital Partners. For more information visit: www.sunrunhome.com
About PV Solar Report
PV Solar Report is the leading authority on solar market data with the mission of providing relevant, timely and succinct information to busy solar professionals. PV Solar Report publishes a daily digest for busy solar professionals, in-depth quarterly reports of the California and New Jersey solar markets, and custom reports for solar company clients. PV Solar Report makes it easy for industry professionals to stay on top of the dynamic solar industry. For more information visit: www.pvsolarreport.com