Selling Solar

Selling Solar

May 4, 2022

Solar Energy Basics + Market Trends

The solar industry continues to grow at record pace. According to SEIA, the solar industry has experienced an average annual growth rate of 33% in the last decade alone. With support from strong federal policies like the solar Investment Tax Credit, rapidly declining costs, and increasing demand for clean electricity, this growth shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

Additionally, the residential solar market is fueled by homeowners motivated by increasing household electricity bills during the pandemic, power outages, and low financing costs.

What does the current solar market look like?

  • In the first 9 months of 2021, photovoltaic (PV) installations increased significantly, year-over-year (y/y), for many leading markets, including the United States.
  • The United States installed approximately 5.7 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy storage onto the electric grid in the first 9 months of 2021, up 419% year over year, as a result of record levels of residential and front-of-the-meter deployment
  • In 2021 YTD, residential PV + storage systems cost were reduced by 8% – 13% compared to full 2020 median values
  • As of 2020, solar accounts for 12% of all U.S. energy consumption

What are some challenges facing the solar industry?

Soft costs research by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) addresses challenges associated with reducing non-hardware cost components of solar energy systems. These costs include design, siting, permitting, installation, interconnection, and financing. They also include the sales, general, and administrative expenses solar companies incur for customer acquisition, workforce training and certification, supply chain and inventory control, and operating overhead.

The soft costs for residential solar energy systems have declined by approximately 50% since 2010, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). However these costs need to fall an additional 60-70 percent to achieve SETO’s cost targets and to make unsubsidized residential solar a more affordable electricity option across the country.

How does solar energy work?

Solar Energy Basics + Market Trends

How solar works

  1. The panel creates DC electricity from the sun’s rays
  2. An inverter converts DC to AC electricity
  3. If there is a battery, any additional generation is sent to the battery system which can be used at night or during a power outage
  4. If there is no battery, the additional generation is sent into the grid
  5. The ac current is fed into the house for use

What are the benefits of solar energy?

Cost savings

  • Financial returns and lower monthly utility bills are major incentives for going solar.

Solar works everywhere

  • The solar resource of the United States is Enormous. In fact, just one hour of noontime summer sun is equal to the annual U.S. electricity demand (according to the Department of Energy, DOE).
  • Most states in the United States have good-to-excellent solar resources. Even places with relatively low solar resources, such as the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, can experience cost savings.

Increased home value

  • Solar panels are viewed as upgrades, like a renovated kitchen or a finished basement; purchasing a solar energy system will likely increase your home’s value.
  • One study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showed that on average, solar increased the value of a home by about $15,000.


  • Each kWh (kiloWatt hour, a unit of energy) from solar will help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions typically produced from traditional grid energy

What are different sectors of Solar Energy?

Utility-scale – Market dependent, large scale (MegaWatt) projects solar power is generated and feeds into the grid, supplying a utility with energy

Electrical grid – The interconnected network for electricity delivery from producers to consumers.

  • Commercial and Industrial scale (C&I) – solar for large to small companies, which can include governments, schools, universities and non-profits
    Residential – solar for residential homes

Residential Solar

  • Residential solar is mainly rooftop solar but can also be delivered via a ground mount system
  • It is a solar system installed on a home’s roof to generate electricity from the sun and helps you reduce or fully eliminate the residents monthly spending on electricity from the grid

What are some common solar sales + lead generation terms?

  • Solar soft cost – Cost of installation labor, the cost of all relevant permits, and all overhead costs including the marketing, sales and administrative costs associated with the system.
  • Solar hard cost – Inventory; think in the terms of hardware associated with solar items like modules, inverters, racking materials, battery, etc. (terms used here can be found on the next slide)
  • Warm transfer – A solar lead that is transferred to a partner to schedule an appointment while the homeowner is on the line
  • Posted Appointment – a lead scheduled for a partner that does not require a live transfer; lead delivered.
  • Live web lead – A solar lead that is generated via a web-based form expressing interest in solar
  • Preset appointment – A solar lead that has an appointment set, this increases the odds of a sale for the partners
  • Sit rate – A success metric in solar sales. The sales appointment (in-person or virtual) is able to be completed regardless of successful sale outcome
  • Conversion rate – the percentage of success solar sales appointment where a lead is converted to the post sale process to total solar sales appointments
  • Sales proposal – A visual aid helping the sales representative summarize the solar system design and financing typically focusing on the savings benefits for a potential solar project

Colossus is dedicated to helping businesses sell more solar. By matching residential solar providers with the right customers, Colossus helps solar companies grow their sales by delivering real time solar inquiries.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you grow your solar business.