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National Poll Finds American Homeowners Overwhelmingly Want Energy Choice

Stocks in this article: SCTY

SAN MATEO, Calif., March 10, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Clean Edge, Inc. and SolarCity (Nasdaq:SCTY) today announced the results of an inaugural national poll of U.S. homeowners regarding clean-energy products and services. The poll found that a majority of homeowners, 69 percent, want more choices when it comes to their energy and electricity supply. National polling firm Zogby Analytics was commissioned to conduct the poll. The new report, "U.S. Homeowners on Clean Energy: A National Survey," is available for download at www.solarcity.com/insideenergy and www.cleanedge.com/reports .

The poll confirmed that a significant majority of Americans (88 percent of homeowners) support renewable energy. It was also among the first to ask homeowners directly if they would be interested in solar for their own homes — 62 percent said yes. This is particularly notable, given that there are more than 75 million owner-occupied housing units in the U.S., and fewer than 500,000 photovoltaic installations. 1

The SolarCity-Clean Edge poll also reveals the persistence of a myth that clean-energy products are not affordable. Less than half of all homeowners nationally understand that solar power is more affordable today than it was three years ago, despite the reality that prices for solar panels have dropped by more than half over this time period, and solar electricity prices can beat utility rates in a growing number of locations.

While homeowners generally view their current electric utility favorably, 73 percent of homeowners also said they would welcome clean energy provided by an entity other than their utility. Some utilities have attempted to impose fees and taxes on solar customers as a way of suppressing rooftop solar deployment, but energy providers should take note. Three out of four poll respondents voiced opposition to these types of efforts, saying that utilities should not be allowed to enforce restrictions on on-site energy systems. Though the sentiment was shared across all demographics, it was strongest among Republicans, Conservatives and middle-aged or elderly homeowners.

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