In August 2022, we published the fifteenth iteration of our Solar Marketplace Intel Report. From ongoing supply chain constraints to the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, the residential solar market has changed considerably over the past six months – and will continue to do so throughout the near future. At EnergySage, we remain committed to making the solar industry more transparent, affordable, and accessible, especially as it grows and transforms. In this article, we’ll share some key findings from this most recent Intel Report (check out this page to access the full report).
The price of solar rose to pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2022, likely due to ongoing supply chain constraints.
Enphase and Tesla lead EnergySage’s storage market while Enphase and SolarEdge dominate on the inverter front.
The most quoted solar panel on EnergySage was REC in the first half of 2022.
Despite slight price increases, almost one-fifth of EnergySage shoppers install a battery with their solar system.
What’s in this article?
Understanding the shifting solar landscape
To start off, let’s take a look at how the residential solar market has changed on EnergySage over the last year – both in terms of solar prices and products:
Solar prices increase to pre-pandemic levels
In our last Intel Report, prices increased slightly for the first time since we began collecting the data in 2014, from $2.67 per Watt (W) to $2.68/W, or a rise of just 0.4 percent. Fast forward to the first half of 2022 and median prices in solar quotes on EnergySage increased again, this time jumping from $2.68/W up to $2.77/W – a price that we haven’t seen since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic! However, despite the recent increases in pricing, solar remains affordable: the cost of solar in the first half of 2022 was still 27 percent lower than the cost eight years ago.
Larger solar panels increase significantly in popularity
The average wattage of solar panels included in quotes on EnergySage continues to increase. Two years ago, the most quoted panel fell between 330-340 W. Six months ago it was between 360-370 W, and in the first half of 2022, it jumped to 390-400 W! Similarly, in the second half of 2021, just 16 percent of quoted panels on EnergySage were 390+ W, whereas in our most recent Intel Report, over half of quoted panels fell into this category.
What equipment is popular on EnergySage?
Tracking trends in the equipment landscape is crucial to understanding the solar industry as a whole. As supply chain issues persisted into 2022, installers on the EnergySage Marketplace diversified their equipment offerings to meet growing demand for solar installations: for the first time since we began tracking storage data in 2020, five different storage brands held at least five percent marketplace share according to our latest Intel Report. But, at the same time, installers continue to demonstrate brand loyalty, with the majority offering just one or two equipment brands.
Battery storage marketplace diversifies
The battery storage marketplace opened up during the first half of 2022. Enphase remained the most quoted storage option on the EnergySage Marketplace at 45 percent of all storage quotes. Cumulatively, Enphase and Tesla encompassed 70 percent of the total storage marketplace. Generac gained the most traction in the first half of 2022, growing Marketplace share by seven percentage points from the second half of 2021. SolarEdge also grew substantially, jumping from less than one percent marketplace share in the second half of 2021 to five percent in the first half of 2022, placing it in the top five most quoted storage brands on EnergySage.
Marketplace share shifts among solar panel and inverter brands
In terms of solar panels, consolidation decreased slightly, likely due in part to the continued impacts of supply chain disruptions requiring installers to select additional brands based on equipment availability; however, quoted panel brands continue to be a crowded field on the EnergySage Marketplace, with five different brands encompassing almost 80 percent Marketplace share. REC edged out Panasonic as the most quoted panel brand in the Marketplace and while REC and Q CELLS both gained marketplace share, the total Marketplace share of the top three brands – REC, Panasonic, and Q CELLS – dropped seven percentage points from the second half of 2021 to the first half of 2022.
Shifting our attention to inverters, the most quoted inverter brand on the EnergySage Marketplace – Enphase Energy – remained the same from the second half of 2021 to the first half of 2022. While Enphase lost four percentage points of its total Marketplace share, SunPower, which white labels Enphase inverters, grew their share by three percentage points. SolarEdge also increased its Marketplace share by two percentage points. The range of quoted inverter brands remains much narrower than that of panels: Enphase, SolarEdge and SunPower make up 95 percent of total Marketplace share and Enphase alone encompasses over 50 percent of all quotes.
Vast majority of installers still only offer one or two equipment brands
Though supply chain constraints likely increased the diversity in equipment offerings on the Marketplace, installers remained consistent in their inverter brand loyalty: 57 percent of installers offer just one or two solar panel brands and 87 percent offer only one or two inverter brands. The number of installers offering five or more panel brands continues to decrease steadily each half year, dropping from 14 percent in the second half of 2021 to 11 percent in the first half of 2022.
How has interest in storage changed over time?
For our final Intel Report highlight, we’ll discuss a technology that we only began tracking two years ago that has quickly gained traction among solar shoppers: energy storage. As electricity prices continue to increase, more and more homeowners are installing solar-plus-storage systems to protect themselves from rising inflation and grid instability. Our Intel Report provides key insights into the residential storage market, including how the market has changed over the past few years, as well as some of the driving factors behind these changes.
Almost one-fifth of EnergySage shoppers install storage
While the median price per kilowatt-hour ($/kWh) of energy storage has continued to increase in quotes on EnergySage from $1,153/kWh to $1,290/kWh over the past year and a half, almost 70 percent of EnergySage shoppers still request storage with their quotes. Despite these higher prices, the storage attachment rate nearly doubled over the past few years, rising from just 9.5 percent to 17.1 percent over the last year and a half.
Most consumers are interested in storage for the savings
Before the second half of 2021, EnergySage solar shoppers could select as many reasons for storage interest as they wanted – and the majority cited resiliency as a driver. However, when only allowed to select one option for storage interest (which began in the second half of 2021), savings on utility rates became the primary motivation for energy storage interest, a trend that continued in the latest Intel Report. In fact, in the first half of 2022, backup power dropped three percentage points as the primary driver of storage interest compared to the second half of 2021, while savings on utility rates gained three percentage points, likely due to increasing electricity costs.
Storage interest highest in states without net metering
Storage interest varies widely across the country; generally, West Coast states displayed less interest in receiving storage quotes than Midwestern and Southeastern states, where interest was the highest. Interestingly, despite experiencing more grid instability than other states, California had the lowest storage interest of any state in the country at 10 percent below the national median. The two states with the greatest storage interest, Tennessee and Georgia (at 24 percent and 14 percent above the national median, respectively) both lack net metering policies, which compensate solar customers for excess electricity they send to the grid – this aligns with savings on utility rates being the primary motivator of energy storage interest.
See what you could save by going solar
Interested in adding a solar energy system to your home? On the EnergySage Marketplace, you’ll be connected to our network of pre-vetted solar installers – for free! You’ll receive custom quotes based on your own unique setup, which can compare based on factors like cost and equipment. Not sure which quote to go with? Our team of Energy Advisors can help guide you through the decision process so you install the system that best fits your needs.