Research Outline

I am interested in buyer demographics of the solar industry.


To determine the demographic information and buying habits of consumers in the solar power industry, particularly solar purchases made via personal loans, to inform the client's understanding of their target market.

Early Findings

  • This income trends tracking report of approximately 1.4 million U.S. residential rooftop solar adopters through 2018 found that solar purchasers span all income levels, including low-to-moderate (LMI) income households.
  • According to the above report, 15% of residential solar adopters had household incomes greater than $50k, 33% between $50-100k, 24% between $100-150k, and 28% higher than $150k.
  • The same report also notes that solar adoption has gradually become more popular among lower income ranges due to a deepening of the U.S. solar market.
  • Other reports note that low-to-middle income households are choosing solar power in order to counter rising electric prices, whereas wealthier households are not prioritizing solar panels and are less responsive to changes in energy prices.
  • Among those that invested in rooftop solar in 2018, 35% had below-median credit scores and 27% had home values below the median for their respective county.
  • Another study focusing on Australia found that the vast majority of solar adopters were in outer suburbs and have lower average incomes.
  • This was a marked change from the past—when the average solar purchaser was defined by high income and education levels—and is perhaps due to government sustainable energy incentives and a steady decline in the cost of solar in recent years.
  • The Australian study also found that the "55-and-up" demographic were large solar purchasers, presumably due to the desire to control electricity costs.
  • However, other statistics on the share of Americans owning solar panels in 2018 show solar power to be most popular with the 30- to 49-year-old demographic at 7.9% share, vs. 18- to 29-year-olds at 5.77% and 50- to 64-year-olds at 3.73%.
  • Researchers also found that solar purchasers were likely to own homes with three or more bedrooms occupied by households of two or more people.
  • A Powerscout study of American solar purchasers found that 2.24% of rooftop installers were Republicans and 3.06% were Democrats, a fairly similar rate considering that clean energy is a partisan issue.