Why People Go Solar — Not For The Environment (+ Hilarious Videos)

My guess is that most people who don’t know much about the state of solar power today think that people who go solar do so in order to help the environment. That would be a very noble reason to go solar. We should all be going solar for that reason. However, the reality is that most of us are caught up with the immediate, very tangible needs and desires in our day-to-day and month-to-month lives, and we aren’t extending far beyond those in order to deal with large societal problems like global warming. And, despite what you might think, it actually is the same thing with the large majority of people who go solar. Why people go solar has more to do with making money than keeping our climate stable, our air clean, and our water clean.

One of the key statistics noted in an infographic we shared a couple weeks ago was that 74% of polled solar panel owners wouldn’t have gone solar if it weren’t for the financial benefits. In particular, the statement they agreed with was, “I care about the environment, but for a purchase this major, it had to help my wallet, too.”

Last year, Sunrun decided to turn this fact into some funny commercials. Check these out:

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For the most part, this is a relatively recent trend, because the price of solar power has just recently dropped low enough that solar power saves people a lot of money within just a few years — or, thanks to the introduction of solar leasing, immediately. If you go back just to 2009, you can see that the “reason” the solar panel owners in the following Sunrun commercial went solar was “for the environment,” and the huge financial benefit was the big surprise:

Granted, it was a similar point as in the first two videos, but it is interesting that, back in 2009, the assumption was that people were going solar to help the environment.

Here’s one more excellent and funny video featuring the solar hero in that video:

Not as much to comment on with that one, just that it’s very well done and funny solar marketing — something we could use more of in the solar industry.

The take-home point: why people go solar (nowadays) is because it saves them a lot of money. Don’t miss out. Join the solar rooftop revolution.

Cost of Solar, Market Research

July 23, 2013

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