2020 has been a tumultuous year. Despite the ups and downs of a pandemic and economic uncertainty, solar energy overcame all obstacles to flourish in this historic year. The solar industry forged its path through legislative victories and improved technology to see substantial growth in residential and commercial installations.
Door-to-Door Sales Drop but Online Sales Pop
When the pandemic hit, it forced people to remain home. Americans came together to mitigate the spread of the disease. This caused businesses and individuals alike to change their everyday lives drastically. In this change, the solar industry found a way to adapt and discover new ways to stay alive. Back in March of 2020, Bloomberg reported that before the pandemic, “Vivint Solar Inc. stated door-to-door accounted for almost 90% of its sales.” People no longer wanted others knocking on their door in the middle of a pandemic. The overwhelming majority of those sales went online. There will always be a need for solar energy, and people will capitalize. Consumers took it on themselves to research and found the best fit for their households. Solar companies reoriented their marketing and sales strategies to fit the market’s needs.
Solar Rises Above the Pandemic, Looks Toward Future
Utility companies, residents, and businesses went online. However, it was not just door-to-door sales that suffered. Covid 19 accentuated many of the existing problems, like rising energy bills. The pandemic helped Americans put things into perspective and strive to be more energy efficient. There are many reasons people converted to solar. Households that were shut down and forced to stay home had to reckon with increasingly higher energy bills by being home significantly longer than usual. People wanted to save money in a declining economy that was seeing astronomical job loss. Many companies used the opportunity to invest in themselves for a renewable and sustainable future. Utility companies across America continued building and increasing their solar energy capacity based on demand, growing populations, and higher energy bills. Record-breaking projects have been started, programs and policies have been implemented, and solar has been increasing as a result. The New York Times’ Ivan Penn wrote, “the industry more than made up for the lost activity later in the year and is now on track to provide more than 40 percent of the new electricity generating capacity added this year. Solar power capacity added by the close of 2020 would be 43 percent higher than in 2019, an industry association and research firm said in a report released on Tuesday.” The industry association and research film quoted is the SEIA, Solar Energy Industries Association, and Wood Mackenzie. Penn continues, “Texas led the nation in solar installations measured by megawatts, followed by Florida, California, South Carolina, and Virginia. Except for California, those states reported more installations through the first nine months of the year than in all of 2019.” This is fantastic news. The President of SEIA, Abigail Ross Hopper, concurred in her statement about the success of solar in 2020 by saying, “it speaks to our ability to support economic growth, even in our darkest moments.”
What Does This Mean for 2021?
With hope on the horizon, people will be looking forward to normalcy. Solar will grow regardless. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is expected growth for Solar Photovoltaic Installers. This occupation is expected to grow 51% in the next decade. This is a good sign for the economy and, more specifically, the solar industry. This growth is also due to the programs, incentives, and savings that convert to solar. Each state offers its incentives in the form of tax credits and exceptions. The federal government also looks to assist prospective buyers. The federal government provides a dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit. As the current solar tax credit is reduced to 22% on January 1st, solar advocates such as the trade group, SEIA, are lobbying politicians to extend the federal ITC. Still, it may be until next year before the SEIA receives their answer. To learn more about solar, check out our blog page. To get started with a free quote, click here.