ConveYour's Solar News Roundup - Q1 2024

10 minute read

Andrew Baldis

Content Contributor
"ConveYour Presents: Solar News Roundup Q1 2024"


Every quarter, our ConveYour team assembles a newsletter digest of the biggest news, trends, and developments in the world of residential solar. This newsletter is sent out to our subscribers before it gets posted on the site.

Want early access? Send us an email at [email protected] to get signed up!

Solar News Off the Top

- Sunnova Solar announced a partnership with Home Depot to become the sole provider of solar energy and storage services in Home Depot’s retail stores.

- ADT Solar, the solar energy branch of ADT Security, announced in January that the company was leaving the US residential solar business.

- CNET has announced Palmetto Solar as the best overall choice for residential solar in the US.

- Registration has officially opened up for ISNA's fifth-annual 2025 Solar Games solar installation competition. Winners will receive cash prizes of up to $10,000. 

- Sunrun, in partnership with California utility provider PG&E, have completed their first season using their first-of-its-kind residential distributed power plant.

Did You Know?

For the first time ever, 2024's Super Bowl LVIII was 100% powered by carbon-free, renewable energy from various sources, including solar!

What Is Even Happening??

Three people looking confused, layered over an image of solar panelsFor the last couple of years, solar, namely residential solar, has been on a seemingly unstoppable growth streak. New solar companies were springing up on a near-daily basis and the future of the industry was completely...well...bright. However, over the last two or three quarters, sentiment has begun to shift. It has left some residential solar professionals asking - what in the world is going on here?

What we are seeing now, not just in solar but in a lot of industries worldwide, is a correction from unsustainable levels of growth. While some are worried that it's more of a collapse, industrial experts are telling a different story. Ohm Magazine predicts that residential solar installation saw a contraction of 7% in Q4 0f 2023, ending a period of nonstop growth. Luckily, we largely know the reasons for this shift, and most of them are temporary or point towards a maturing market instead of a collapsing one. 

The biggest culprit for this reduction in new installs is, again raised interest rates for loans. Residential solar is often paid for with financing, and as rates have increased it has become more "expensive" to hold that debt- lots of customers would rather wait for a rate reduction. Additionally, as with most products in recent months, the cost of supplies for solar installations has been on the rise. Installers need to pass some of this cost on to the customer in order to stay profitable, resulting in higher install prices, which impacts demand.

Yet still another part of this contraction in solar is a part of the natural industrial cycle. Residential solar is becoming a mature industry, where explosive growth gives way to more stable,long-term, and measured expansion. It is true, for example, that demand overall for solar is down. However, solar sales teams would have told you that nearly a decade ago! With the delay that comes between solar sale and installation, a lot of businesses are just now seeing their queue of jobs start to dry up without the incoming sales volume to support it. 

Did You Know?

173,000 terawatts of solar energy strike the Earth continuously. That's more than 10,000 times the world's total energy usage!

Here Comes The Sun

A beautiful sunriseWhat goes up must come down, and interest rates are no exception. We've been hearing whispers of rate cuts for quite some time now, but 2024 has long been the targeted year for those cuts to actually happen. Simply reducing the amount of interest customers would have to pay for financed solar would go a long way toward getting residential solar back on its feet. In fact, Wood Mackenzie predicts that rate cuts alone could boost residential solar by 13% in 2025!

"There's still so much potential for residential solar, I think interest rates are just causing a temporary slow down."
Zoë Gaston, Principal Analyst, Wood Mackenzie

While solar panel manufacturers and suppliers are feeling the cost of inflation on solar production, customers are feeling a similar inflationary crunch around their utility billsSpiking rates on the regular power grid are driving more residential customers toward the self-sustaining power of rooftop solar. 

It still makes sense for homeowners to choose solar today. Interest rates may be up, but the impacts of the oft-discussed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are in full swing and are set to be felt well into 2025. In fact, the 30% Clean Energy Credit will be available for new installations through the year 2032With an uncertain political landscape and an upcoming election, analysts still believe that if homeowners haven't adopted solar yet, now is the time

"If you're a homeowner and you're thinking about this, I'd still try to get in there now and act sooner or later. Do it now, if you're interested."
Gilbert Michaud, Prof. of Env. Policy, Loyola University Chicago

All of this paints a picture not of an industry headed toward maturity. The initial hot streak of mass adoption is slowing down and public policy has started to catch up, for better and for worse. Still, the US managed to install more solar in 2023 than any year past. Coupled with larger economic conditions that are ever-changing, residential solar's future is not at all in question.

The Fight For (And Over) California

California.Yet again, we have to take some time to specifically discuss what's going on with solar in California. They are a unique and ever-changing case of what the future of solar policy nationwide may look like. Whether it'll end up being a playbook or a cautionary tale is still in question. 

So, what exactly is going on? California has long been an enormous market for rooftop solar. With ideal weather and millions of customers ready to install, CA has consistently been the top-ranked state for annual solar installation. That is, until now. 

At the end of 2022, California passed the NEM 3.0 net metering guidelines, drastically cutting the amount of compensation homeowners received from utility companies for the excess solar energy they generate. In most cases, rates were slashed by about 75%. New solar installations leading up to this new policy absolutely exploded as homeowners sought to lock in the previous, "generous" compensatory rate, but when the policy went into effect in April 2023, solar installation immediately cratered by as much as 90%. 

These changes come the same state who ambitiously wants to have 90% of all electricity come from renewable sources by 2035, with a goal of 100% by 2045. Policymakers' stated intention was to encourage solar energy storage installations, but it's hard to view the impact on rooftop solar demand as anything but disastrous for the state. Solar experts from Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have called on state policymakers to revise their approach to net metering to salvage demand and protect solar businesses operating within California. 

"We are talking about the largest solar market in the country. This was the most impactful energy decision, easily, for this century so far."
Bernadette Del Chiaro, Executive Director, California Solar & Storage Association

Solar Spotlight: CPTL Energy

TToday’s Solar Industry Spotlight feature goes out to Tempe, AZ-based solar company, CPTL Energy! CPTL is a newer face in the solar game, having been founded in mid-2022 by a small group of experienced solar experts with years in the industry under their belts. Since then, CPTL has made it their goal to integrate the entire solar process under their own roof, serving as the destination for solar consultation, engineering, installation, service, and storage. They have been able to accomplish that last part thanks to their partnership with Franklin and their Franklin Home Power Solution solar battery.

Don't count CPTL's age against them! Their domination on the scene is only beginning. In fact, they've already begun to expand their operations, opening a second location in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2023. Not only that, but CPTL has demonstrated their commitment to providing an exquisite onboarding and training experience for their sales team through their partnership with us at ConveYour!

“We pride ourselves on treating our customers like our own family."
Excerpt from CPTL Energy's Mission Statement

Who Are We?

The ConveYour LogoRecruit, onboard, train, and retain more solar reps with less manual work so you can scale faster and dominate in the solar industry.

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