As part of the E Source Solar Strategy Service, we annually conduct in-depth residential customer market research to help our members better understand customers’ opinions, needs, desires, and behaviors related to solar. This unique market research enables them to better engage their residential customers in this critical area and to develop strategies, programs, education, and communications that support their customers’ solar needs.

We’ve explored key questions such as:

How aware are customers of their utility’s solar-related actions?
Which customers are most interested in rooftop or community solar options, and how much of a premium are they willing to pay for it?
What solar-related themes and messages resonate most positively with customers, and how does this vary by segment?
What actions do customers want their utility to take related to solar (for example, building large scale renewables, offering community solar, or providing decision-making tools)?
What solar-related educational information and decision-making resources do customers value most?


In 2016, we surveyed 7,149 residential customers in the US and Canada to better understand their opinions on utility actions related to solar, interest in solar program options (such as rooftop or community solar), perceptions of the fairness of different rate-change options, and views on different solar messaging approaches. As part of this effort, we conducted detailed qualitative and quantitative message testing. Segmented and state-level data are available from this research.

Based on member input, we’re focusing our 2017 research efforts on customers’ interest in different types of solar educational information and decision-making tools. Our findings will complement the Utility Solar Website Benchmark and Solar Education and Communications Working Group resources (PDF) to provide members of the E Source Solar Strategy Service with tools to take their residential solar education and communications efforts to the next level.

If you’re interested in this market research, but your utility does not subscribe to the E Source Solar Strategy Service, please contact us.