Insights from the Clean Energy Trends Survey, Part Three

By SolarCity

April 20, 2015

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We recently released our second annual report on clean-energy consumer trends.  Commissioned by SolarCity and Clean Edge, it’s based on a January 2015 survey of 1,400 homeowners by Zogby Analytics.

The report snaps a picture of factors helping push the double-digit growth of clean-energy products and services.

Digging deeply into the data, we found some surprising—and not so surprising—dynamics at work.*  We’ve been releasing these insights in the days leading up to our webinar today, April 20th.  Here’s the third and final round of findings:

Kum-baya? Well, sort of

Ok, it’s a polarized electorate. But Republicans and Democrats (outside of Congress, at least) do agree on some key points related to clean energy.

Fifty percent of all respondents chose solar as the most important energy source for America’s future. Solar was the top choice for both Republicans and Democrats.

We also saw bipartisan support—though not parity—for clean-energy policy. 82 percent of Democrats said they favor federal tax incentives supporting the growth of solar and wind industries. 67 percent Republicans and 72 percent of Independents favor these policies as well.

But don’t expect a political group-hug anytime soon. Motivations for buying clean-energy products and services do vary by party. This is consistent with what we see in national polls.

At 43 percent, Democrats were more likely to say they’d make clean energy purchases to reduce their environmental impact. This compares to 25 percent of Republicans. 

More Republicans than Democrats, however, are motivated by the lower maintenance of clean-energy products—38 percent to 27 percent, respectively.

Even Grumpy Cat approves

Pet ownership—yes, pet ownership—seems to be an indicator of peoples’ attitudes toward clean energy.

Both cat and dog owners said they make clean energy purchases to save money—86 percent and 82 percent, respectively.

However, 40 percent of cat owners said they make clean energy purchases to reduce their environmental impact. This compares to 31 percent of dog owners. Could it be—as suggested here—that introverted, bookish cat owners are more informed when it comes to these issues? (Rest assured, SolarCity’s dog owners do not agree with the headline of the linked article.)

To learn more about the survey, and clean energy trends for 2015, check out the report.

 

*Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for the survey of 1,400 homeowners is +/- 2.7 percentage points. Subsets have a larger margin of error than the whole data set.  We do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data, especially sets smaller than 50 – 75 respondents. At that size subset we can make generalizations, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.

Insights from the Clean Energy Trends Survey, Part Two

By SolarCity

April 16, 2015

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Participants polled were asked to choose up to two reason for making clean energy purchases.

Last week we released our second annual report on clean-energy consumer trends.  Commissioned by SolarCity and Clean Edge, it’s based on a January 2015 survey of 1,400 homeowners by Zogby Analytics.

The report snaps a picture of factors helping push the double-digit growth of clean-energy products and services.

Digging deeply into the data, we found some surprising—and not so surprising—dynamics at work.*  We’re releasing these insights in the days leading up to our webinar on April 20th.  Here’s the second round of findings:

 

A green gender gap?

Recent research has shown women are “greener” than men. That’s led to speculation that women may view environmentalism as important to protecting their families and themselves. It’s also consistent with our own survey results: 

About 37 percent of women said they buy clean-energy products and services for the chance to reduce their environmental impact. This compares to just 31 percent of men.
 
The same percentage of women and men—82 percent—said they make clean-energy purchases for the chance to save money. 

 

The choice of a not-so new generation

You might think Millennials are the most environmentally-focused generation. Not so fast. According to our survey:

At 41 percent, GenXers (born 1965-1978) were actually the most likely to say they make clean-energy purchases to reduce their environmental impact. They edged out the 38 percent of Millennials (born 1979-1983) who responded to that statement.
 
GenXers were also more likely than Millennials to say they’ve “changed the way they live” to help fight climate change—17 percent to 13 percent, respectively.
 
Seventy-one percent of GenXers said they’d like to install solar panels on their home at some point in the future. This compares to 66 percent of Millennials.

 

However, some of the other questions confirmed generational stereotypes.

Millennials seem more likely to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to driving. They were the most likely to say they’re planning to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle in the next year.

Older generations put more value on the lower maintenance of clean-energy products. Thirty-seven percent of Boomers (born 1946-1964) and 44 percent of Silents (born 1926-1945) said this is a motivator. This compares to just 27 percent of GenXers and 24 percent of Millennials.

Boomers were the most likely of any generation to choose “saving money” as a motivator to buy clean-energy products. However, all generations valued savings.

About 31 percent of Boomers and 41 percent of Silents said they’re unlikely to make a clean-energy related purchase in the next year. This compares to 19 percent of GenXers and 13 percent of Millennials. 

To learn more about the survey, and clean energy trends for 2015, check out the report.

 

*Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for the survey of 1,400 homeowners is +/- 2.7 percentage points. Subsets have a larger margin of error than the whole data set.  We do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data, especially sets smaller than 50 – 75 respondents. At that size subset we can make generalizations, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.

SolarCity and Nest team up to help you save more on your energy bill

By SolarCity

April 13, 2015

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Imagine an existence straight out of science fiction: your home has a “brain” of its own. It works tirelessly to manage your energy consumption. It knows your temperature preferences, keeps track of your personal schedule and can program itself. When you leave for work on a hot summer day your AC automatically turns itself down, and when you return hours later your home has been pre-cooled to a comfortable 70 degrees by solar power, saving you money, saving the planet, and making your life easier.

This morning we announced we’re collaborating with Nest to turn this vision into a reality. SolarCity will work with Nest to develop ways for solar customers to maximize their energy savings so that one day, SolarCity can regulate the home’s air conditioner, pool pump and other appliances based on the availability of inexpensive, clean solar power. 

As we work together on future integration, we’re celebrating the partnership in the here and now. Starting this summer we’re giving away 10,000 Nest Learning Thermostats to select, new SolarCity customers in California. 

Want to learn more about SolarCity and Nest’s collaboration? Get details on the offer here.

Insights from the Clean Energy Trends Survey, Part One

By SolarCity

April 07, 2015

NationalHomeownersPoll_1000x600

Today we released our second annual report on clean-energy consumer trends. Commissioned by SolarCity and Clean Edge, it’s based on a January 2015 survey of 1,400 homeowners by Zogby Analytics.

The report snaps a picture of factors helping push the double-digit growth of clean-energy products and services.

Digging deeply into the data, we found some surprising—and not so surprising—dynamics at work.*  We’ll be releasing these insights in the days leading up to our webinar on April 20th.  Here are the first round of findings:

 

How do you think about and plan for the future?

Ask any parent: The thought of one day releasing a child into the world affects your outlook. And, that factor seems to impact peoples’ motivation when it comes to clean energy:

Forty percent of people with a child under 17 said they make clean-energy purchases to reduce their environmental impact. This compares to 30 percent of people without a young child.  

People with a young child were also more likely than those without to say they’ve “changed the way they live” to help fight climate change—17 percent to 8 percent, respectively. 

Both groups overwhelmingly cited saving money as a motivator to make clean-energy purchases—84 percent and 81 percent, respectively.

And continuing the “thinking of the future” theme …

Eighty-seven percent of people investing in a retirement plan said they’d make clean-energy purchases for the chance to save money. This compares to 75 percent of non-investors.

Thirty-seven percent of investors said they would make clean-energy purchases to reduce their environmental impact. This compares to 29 percent of non-investors.

However, people who described themselves as optimists were less likely than cynics to say they’d make clean-energy purchases for the chance to save money—82 percent to 89 percent, respectively.

Optimists were also more likely then cynics to say they make clean-energy purchases to reduce their environmental impact—37 percent to 30 percent, respectively.

To learn more about the survey, and clean energy trends for 2015, check out the report.

 

* Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for the survey of 1,400 homeowners is +/- 2.7 percentage points. Subsets have a larger margin of error than the whole data set.  We do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data, especially sets smaller than 50 – 75 respondents. At that size subset we can make generalizations, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.

SpaceX invests $90 million in SolarCity solar bonds

By Tim Newell, SolarCity’s Vice President of Financial Products

March 30, 2015

SpaceX is one of the world's most innovative companies.  Founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, SpaceX is revolutionizing space technology, with the ultimate goal of making humans a multi-planetary species.  It is the only private company to send a spacecraft into orbit and return it safely to Earth, and the only private company to fly supplies to and from the International Space Station. Soon it will begin launching astronauts into orbit.  

We are excited to announce that SpaceX has invested $90 million in solar bonds.  Solar bonds are issued – and backed – by SolarCity and powered by monthly solar payments from thousands of solar customers across the country.  SpaceX is effectively getting paid by the sun.

SpaceX CFO Bret Johnsen bought the bonds online, directly from SolarCity.   After reviewing the investment materials, it took less than 10 minutes to set up an account and order the bonds.

SpaceX purchased the bonds in the same manner, and on the same terms that SolarCity offers online to all U.S. investors, big or small, who can invest at least $1,000.

Investing in solar bonds directly through SolarCity offers investors like SpaceX the opportunity to earn significantly higher returns than those offered through comparable investments with the same maturities. 

At the same time, SolarCity is able to raise capital at lower cost. That capital then helps provide clean solar energy to homes, businesses and schools in communities across the country.

We’re thrilled – along with our solar customers – to be part of supporting SpaceX as it revolutionizes space travel.  And we are just as thrilled to be helping individual investors across the country achieve their own goals.

 

SolarCity has filed a registration statement (including a prospectus) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) for offerings to which information in this communication relates. Before you invest, you should read the prospectus in that registration statement and other documents SolarCity has filed with the SEC for more complete information about SolarCity and the offerings. You may obtain these documents for free by visiting EDGAR on the SEC web site at www.sec.gov. Alternatively, you may obtain the prospectus relating to the Solar Bonds, and the pricing supplement relating to a particular series of Solar Bonds, at solarbonds.solarcity.com

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SolarCity's mission is to accelerate the mass adoption of clean energy. Follow solar’s progress here.

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