According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance research America ranks 5th in the world in terms of installed solar power capacity. The solar industry is experiencing an approximately 33% annual growth rate, an amazing success in this still depressed economy. America is approaching a milestone in residential rooftop solar installations. Sometime next year the 100,000th American home will install a solar roof top system.
However, 100,000 U.S. homes with roof top solar systems is not even statistically significant compared to our national housing inventory. According to the National Association of Realtors, the U.S. has approximately 131 million total housing units. Roughly 80 million of these housing units are single-family homes. So for all the recent success in new roof top solar systems installed on homes in America the market penetration is .0008 of all U.S. housing and only 1/10th of 1% of U.S. single-family homes.
A 5% market penetration for roof top solar systems on existing single-family housing represents 4 million homes! This is 50 times the entire number of residential roof top solar systems installed today in America.
The issue confronting America is “How to sell solar to American home owners?” To explore for answers I interviewed Lynn Jurich, President of SunRun, Inc. Lynn’s company is pioneering the marketing of solar power systems as a “service” where a typical customer puts zero money down for the solar system and receives guaranteed savings compared to the purchase of utility supplied electricity.