46% of U.S. homeowners want rooftop solar

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More Americans than ever are viewing solar energy not as some sort of novel or futuristic technology, but as a real-world solution to their energy needs. This belief is brought home by the most recent solar poll released by Pew Research Center showing that 46% of U.S. homeowners have “given serious thought to adding solar panels at their home in the past year.” That’s up 6% from when the same question was posed just three years ago.

To add some perspective, the survey was conducted Oct. 1-13, 2019, among 3,627 U.S. adults on Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel. The margin of error when taking into account the entire body of respondents ranges by plus or minus 2.1%.

When you factor in survey respondents who had already installed solar panels on their home, that number becomes the majority, clocking in at 52%. If you want to see real growth, look at the South Atlantic states, which the survey describes as extending from Delaware to Florida: in this area, 51% of respondents are considering installing solar panels, up an astonishing 20% from 2016.

As for the areas with the highest amount of respondents to already have installed solar, those areas are, unsurprisingly, the Pacific and Mountain states. There is one surprise in that finding, however, as Mountain state respondents checked in with nominally more existing residential installations, at 17%, compared to 14% for Pacific states.

So why are more and more people considering solar, especially so in the last three years? 96% of those surveyed say they want to save money on utility bills, with 87% citing a desire to help the environment. Also polling impressively came a desire to cash in on the investment tax credit at 67% and personal health reasons at 60%.

Not only do Americans in impressive numbers want solar, but they want it for themselves. This isn’t just a few thousand people saying that it would be nice for utilities to build big solar projects in undeveloped areas as a feel-good way to diversify their energy mix. This is nationwide support for energy independence.