EnergySage and NABCEP Release Findings of 2018 Solar Installer Survey; Report Shows Overwhelming Support for Permanent Extension of Investment Tax Credit

Nearly 80% of installers in favor of Congress permanently extending the ITC for solar and energy storage

EnergySage and NABCEP released today the results of the fourth annual Solar Installer Survey, the largest and most comprehensive business climate survey of solar companies nationwide. The 2018 report captures key observations about the U.S. solar industry from local, regional and national solar installers. Over 870 residential and commercial installers across the country participated in this year's survey, which was fielded and authored by EnergySage in partnership with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).


Among this year's central findings is the overwhelming support for Sen. Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) proposal to include permanent tax incentives for clean electricity and storage, such as the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), into any infrastructure bill passed by Congress. Nearly eight out of ten solar installers surveyed said they agree or strongly agree with such a proposal. With responses across America and from traditionally red and blue states, solar installers indicated broad and bipartisan support for a permanent ITC extension.

"At a time when it's become clear that solar energy can provide clean energy and create jobs and economic growth, this survey shows that installers are deeply engaged in growing the industry and supportive of sensible bipartisan policy," said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA. "The growing role of storage and community solar as a part of these companies' portfolios demonstrates the continued emphasis on new opportunities in the solar industry."

Other major insights from the 2018 Solar Installer Survey include:

Consumers demand Tesla as storage installations rise: According to installers, more than one in three solar shoppers are also interested in a home battery, resulting in more solar-plus-storage installations in 2018. However, responses also illustrate a gap between consumer brand preference and what installers stock. While over 55% of installers reported that their customers specifically request Tesla battery solutions, only 12% of solar installers surveyed actually carry and quote the Tesla Powerwall.
Installer confidence in the industry continues to rise: Nationwide, more than half of the installers surveyed indicated that they've grown more confident in the solar industry in the last twelve months. At the state level, installer confidence rebounded in New York and California as governors in those states pushed for 100% renewable futures.
Installers choose growth over margins: For the fourth straight year, a growing majority of installers (67%) stated that gaining market share is more important to their business than increasing the gross margins of each installation. When combined with the falling price of equipment, this finding signals the solar industry is likely on a path of increased competition.
"Industry surveys like this one are an incredibly important tool for us to recognize emerging trends and develop strategies to adapt to those trends," said Shawn O'Brien, Executive Director of NABCEP. "At NABCEP, we're passionate about listening to and responding to developments within the industry, and the results of this survey help us better understand the current needs and future challenges of solar professionals."

"Thank you to everyone who took this year's survey, and to the organizations that helped us gather such critical information," said Vikram Aggarwal, CEO and founder of EnergySage. "We publish reports like this to ensure that all members of the solar industry are constantly learning from one another, and helping each other succeed."

EnergySage fielded this survey between December 17th, 2018 and January 18th, 2019. In addition to EnergySage, NABCEP, the leading certification organization for renewable energy professionals, as well as several large manufacturers, distributors, publications, and industry associations sent the survey to their own installer networks. In total, 871 solar installers located across 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico participated.

The latest report can be downloaded for free at: www.energysage.com/data/#2018-survey. All solar installers who download this survey will be invited to participate and have their voice heard in the 2019 edition. For questions and feedback, please contact data@energysage.com.

ABOUT ENERGYSAGE, INC.
EnergySage is the leading online comparison-shopping marketplace for rooftop solar, energy storage, community solar, and financing. Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, EnergySage is the trusted source of information for over 10 million consumers across 35+ states. As of early 2019, the company has sent over $5 billion in solar installation requests to its network of more than 500 pre-screened solar installation companies, and serves as a high-quality lead source for solar financing companies and powerful distribution channel for solar equipment manufacturers. EnergySage is unique in that it allows consumers to request and compare competing quotes online, unlike traditional lead-generation websites. For this reason, leading organizations like Environment America, Connecticut Green Bank, Duke University, National Grid, and Staples refer their audiences to EnergySage to empower them as they consider solar. The EnergySage formula of unbiased information, transparency and choice helps consumers go solar with confidence - at a higher rate of adoption, and lower cost. For more information, please visit EnergySage and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About NABCEP
The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is the most respected, well-established and widely recognized certification organization for professionals in the field of renewable energy. NABCEP offers Associate-level knowledge assessment, professional certification, and company accreditation programs to renewable energy professionals throughout North America. NABCEP's mission is to develop and implement quality credentialing and certification programs for practitioners by supporting and working closely with professionals and stakeholders in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries.

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