What Do Homeowners Want from Solar?


A new analysis from Next Step Living shows that homeowners in Massachusetts and Connecticut are most interested in saving money and being comfortable in their home. This provides further confirmation of the need to market solar to consumers based on these practical considerations.

What do homeowners want? While many are interested in being energy-efficient, and polls are showing support for solar, people are still most interested in being comfortable in their home and saving money.



That’s according to an analysis of data generated by visitors to NextStepLiving.com in Massachusetts and Connecticut homeowners interested in becoming more energy-efficient are most concerned about being comfortable and saving money, according to. Next Step Living is New England’s leading provider of whole-home energy solutions.


The data came from site visitors seeking online recommendations about how to make their homes more energy-efficient. To receive relevant recommendations from the Home Energy Wizard (HEW), visitors selected their No. 1 and No. 2 priorities from a list of three: 1) live more comfortably (warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer); 2) make your home more environmentally friendly; and 3) save money on your utility bills. The upshot: 56% revealed that their comfort and savings matter more to them than environmental benefits.


“The good news is that everyone accessing the Home Energy Wizard was interested in energy efficiency,” said Next Step Living CEO Geoff Chapin. “The even better news is that people really don’t have to choose one objective over the other since many energy-efficiency solutions can, to varying degrees, address all three goals of comfort, cost and sustainability. That’s an important message for Earth Day and every day: What’s good for the planet is good for everyone.”


Here’s how the responses broke down for more than 500 HEW users:


  • 56%, selected comfort and savings as their top priorities.

  • 46% ranked comfort first, and 41% ranked savings first.

  • Only 12% said that making their home more environmentally friendly is what matters most.

  • And yet, 44% ranked the environment as a first or second priority.


One possible explanation for the results may be that some people might assume there’s an environmental benefit that comes with comfort and savings.


What’s the message for solar? As much as people might support solar, they’re always going to consider their own basic needs. Paramount among those are affordability and comfort. So those of us in the solar industry need to get out the message that solar is affordable, and that it won’t require any lifestyle sacrifices. These days, that shouldn’t be hard to do!