Sunrun: 97% of Americans overestimate cost of solar

Residential solar power service firm Sunrun last week announced the results of a poll that found that almost all Americans overestimate the cost of going solar.

The poll, conducted by Harris Interactive® in February of this year, surveyed over 2,000 American adults about the desirability and cost of installing home solar panels. 97 percent overestimate the cost of residential solar panels, and 78 percent who do not already have PV panels say they would go solar if cost were not a factor.

The survey found that 95 percent of people surveyed were concerned about rising utility rates, “yet homeowners remain paralyzed by misconceptions about what it costs to install solar.”

According to Sunrun, only 3 percent of respondents “understand that installing solar can cost less than $1,000 upfront” and that 40 percent think going solar costs $20,000 or more upfront.

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Sunrun offers both solar leasing and purchase power agreements (PPAs), and owns, insures and maintains PV panels installed on a homeowner’s roof. The firm claims that “in reality, installing solar can cost as little as zero dollars upfront” thanks to their third-party ownership options.

“When it comes to money matters, ignorance is rarely blissful.  When it comes to solar money myths, misinformation actually prevents U.S. homeowners from making smarter financial decisions,” said Manisha Thakor, Harvard MBA and former portfolio manager turned bestselling author and financial literacy advocate.

Last month, Sunrun reported that almost three quarters of all new residential solar systems in California are third-party owned.

“The widespread myth that solar is too expensive is a remnant from the time when buying costly panels for tens of thousands of dollars was the only option,” said Sunrun President and co-Founder Lynn Jurich.

“Fortunately that era is over. Misinformation is the root of the problem, and this data can help increasing numbers of homeowners get educated and opt into solar.”

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