A surprisingly large portion of midsize and large businesses across the US and Canada have installed solar panels, according to the E Source market research report “How Photovoltaics and Distributed Generation Will Disrupt the Utility Industry: 2015 Quantitative Research Results on Business Customer Acquisition of Systems.”
E Source surveyed 802 respondents at non-residential facilities during March and April 2015 in eight targeted industry segments and found that more than one-third of businesses surveyed report having some on-site solar installed at their largest site, with two segments – retail and grocery – reporting the greatest market penetration. Nearly half of those solar adopters installed their first systems over five years ago, showing that this trend is not entirely new.
E Source focused on energy decision-makers at businesses with 50 or more on-site employees across eight market segments: manufacturing, retail, grocery, restaurants, offices, healthcare, lodging, and government/schools.
Only 17 percent of customers spent no time at all thinking about PV, while almost half spent up to a day or more considering it. Averaging these hours suggests that these business respondents spent, on average, just over 12 hours in the past year thinking about PV, and this indication didn’t differ much between those with PV (just over 13 hours) and those without PV (11.5 hours).
Solar interest has broad support across businesses: 83 percent say they’ve spent time considering solar options in the past 12 months and half of those spent a full day to more than a week studying solar. The greatest study times were seen in the government/education sector.