New Report Finds Solar Tariffs Not Helping American-Made Solar Panels Compete, and Costs of Solar Continuing to Fall
American-made solar panels are decreasing in popularity despite tariffs implemented by the Trump administration, according to the latest EnergySage Solar Marketplace Intel Report™
Today, EnergySage released its latest semiannual Solar Marketplace Intel Report™. Based on millions of transaction-level data points generated within the EnergySage Solar Marketplace during 2018, this report tracks demand for American-made solar panels in the U.S. and provides dozens of other insights into consumer shopping behavior.
In January 2018, the Trump administration acted on the U.S. International Trade Commission's finding of "serious injury" to U.S. solar panel manufacturers by levying tariffs on imported solar panels. The tariffs were intended to help American-made solar panels better compete with their foreign-made counterparts. However, a full year after the tariffs were announced, the number of quotes offering domestically produced panels reached near-record lows on the Solar Marketplace. Ultimately, just 4% of EnergySage shoppers purchased a system with American-made solar panels in 2018 - an all-time low in the history of the EnergySage Marketplace.
Other key insights from the latest Solar Marketplace Intel Report include:
Cost of solar falls to $3.05 per Watt:
In H2 2018, the average quoted cost of solar on the EnergySage Marketplace dropped 2.2% to $3.05 per Watt. This is the largest price drop seen on the Marketplace in two years. At the same time, the average size of quoted solar energy systems increased by 7%, up to 9.6 kilowatts.
ITC step-down could erase price decreases from previous year:
The federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) will decline to 26% at the end of 2019, which may effectively erase a year's worth of solar cost decreases. The installed cost of solar could increase by over $1,000 for the average residential solar shopper come January of 2020.
Solar interest grew in all 50 states:
Consumer interest in solar increased across the country, with interest doubling in 11 states between 2017 to 2018, according to an analysis of EnergySage website traffic. Virginia led the nation with the most year-over-year growth in solar interest, with Nevada a close second.
"Consumer interest in solar has proven incredibly resilient over the past year, despite tariffs and other attempts by the current administration to artificially decrease demand," said EnergySage CEO and founder Vikram Aggarwal. "Solar prices are continuing to fall as installers improve their operations, supply chain management, and sales strategies. Additionally, we expect the growing popularity of brands like Enphase, LG, Panasonic, SolarEdge, and SunPower to lure more American consumers into the residential solar market in years to come."
EnergySage is the most visited website in the U.S. solar industry and runs the country's leading comparison-shopping marketplace for rooftop solar, energy storage, community solar, and solar financing. This latest report furthers the company's mission to make solar more accessible and affordable for Americans through unbiased information, transparency, and choice.
This report and others can be downloaded for free at: www.energysage.com/data
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, YouTube, and LinkedIn.