Report: Broadband users will drive solar in 2017

If U.S. households are tied to broadband networks, they are 15% more likely to purchase solar panels in 2017.

That news comes out of a new report from research firm Parks Associates in its 360 View Update: Energy Management, Smart Home, & Utility Programs. In further good news for the solar industry, the report also found that 8% of U.S. broadband households currently own solar panels.

“Residential solar has already proven its ability to cross the chasm into the early majority in various regions of the world,” said Tom Kerber, director of (Internet of Things) IoT strategy, Parks Associates. “The primary motivation for installing residential PV systems is to save money on energy bills, a purchase driver that resonates with all technology adoption segments.”

According to the report, the IoT is helping to drive solar adoption. The more closely tied to other energy-management systems like the Nest thermostat and others, the more likely homeowners are to see the benefit to adding a rooftop solar array to the mix.

“For the solar energy industry to continue to grow, it needs to move beyond the roof and provide complete home energy solutions,” said Ilén Zazueta-Hall, Director of Product Management for Energy Management at Enphase Energy.  “This means that all elements of the home energy ecosystem have to work together safely, reliably, and seamlessly, both for homeowners and utilities.”

Parks Associates will unveil the entire report at the Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer, taking place Feb. 20-22, 2017, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas. The event, which includes more than 300 smart-energy executives, focuses on the convergence of smart energy and IoT with the smart home.