Customer acquisition currently accounts for about 10% of overall residential solar system costs, though it is the component with the most near-term potential for cost reduction.
PV hardware costs, especially those of modules, are beginning to bottom out, and installers are looking to soft costs as the next opportunity to save time and money.
While other soft costs such as permitting will primarily be reduced with government support and industry lobbying, installers can make changes to their lead generation strategies, allocation of resources, types of software used, and other external services procured to reduce customer acquisition expenses. GTM Research estimates that residential solar customer acquisition currently costs installers $0.49/W. Over the next four years, this cost will fall to $0.35/W, saving the industry a total of $619 million between 2014 and 2017.
The leading residential solar companies have already begun to take notice of the need for innovation and cost reduction in customer acquisition. A wide and varied landscape of software and service vendors has begun to take shape, and several acquisitions of these vendors have already occurred. This market activity marks the beginning of what we expect to be among the most active spaces for innovation, M&A activity, and differentiation in the U.S. solar market for years to come.
The focus of this report is the increasingly complex ecosystem of vendors active in the customer acquisition space as well as the strategies preferred by the leaders of the US residential solar market.
Key Objectives of Report
– To describe the benefits, difficulties, and costs associated with the most common marketing and lead generation channels.
– To highlight the customer acquisition strategies of the leading residential solar financiers and installers.
– To identify vendors of customer acquisition tools, including both software and services.
– To provide our outlook on trends in customer acquisition and a forecast for cost reduction.