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9 Surprising Things About People Who Go Solar

9 SURPRISING THINGS ABOUT PEOPLE WHO GO SOLAR The people who buy solar panels are your typical tree-hugging, left-leaning, well-to-do ex-hippies, right? Wrong! One Block Off the Grid polled nearly 200 solar homeowners to leam a little bit about what kind of person uses home solar. The answers might surprise you. 1 THEY DON'T DO IT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Yeah, saving the world is nice, but the majority of polled homeowners who went solar did it for the money. Without the economic benefit of going solar, nearly 3 in 4 homeowners say they wouldn't have done it. SOLAR OWNERS WHO WOULO HAVE GONE SOLAR IF THERE WAS NO ECONOMIC BENEFIT WOULD WOULON'T I care about the environment, but for a purchase this major, it had to help my wallet, I'm that passionate about the 26% 74%, environment. too. REAL SOLAR OWNERS SAY: "I am more conservative. I care more about jobs than the environment. It was purely a financial decision. I showed a five-year payoff with the amount of electricity I use." THEY'RE NOT ALL THAT LIBERAL Ultra conservatives and ultra liberals alike go solar, but the average solar homeowner is nearly the textbook definition of 'middle of the road. WHERE WOULO YOU PLACE YOURSELF ON THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM? AVERAGE 3.34 MIDOLE OF THE ROAD-ISH ч Б EXTREMELY LIBERAL VERY LIBERAL SOMEWHAT LIBERAL MIDOLE OF THE ROAD SOMEWHAT CONSERVATIVE VERY CONSERVATIVE EXTREMELY CONSERVATIVE THEY'RE NOT RICH They're actually penny pinchers. The average solar homeowner had a combined household income between $76,000 and $100,000 when they decided to go solar-well below the $150,000 level that most Americans consider "wealthy." OF SOLAR HOMEOWNERS SAY THEY'RE 70% "SAVVY SPENDERS/BUDGET CONSCIOUS." WHAT WAS YOUR COMBINED HOUSEHOLD INCOME AT THE TIME YOU PURCHASED OR LEASED YOUR SOLAR SYSTEM? AVERAGE 4.6 $76,000 - $100,000 ч Б S26,000 - $50,000 $51,000 - $75,000 $76,000 - $100,000 $101,000 $150,000 $200,000 MORE THAN s200,000 4 THEY'RE MOSTLY GUYS Despite their heavy role in most major purchases and a track record of ingenuity when it comes to money-saving strategies for the household, women are strangely underrepresented when it comes to buying or leasing solar. AMONG MARRIED COUPLES Of THE OPPOSITE SEX THE FIRST PERSON IN THE HOUSEHOLD INTERESTED IN GOING SOLAR THE PERSON WHO DID MOST OF THE FOOTWORK TO MAKE IT HAPPEN MALE БВ. MALE 77% FEMALE 11% 15% FEMALE OTHER/ NEITHER/ OTHER/ 21% NEITHER/ B% BOTH BOTH *Respondents who were married to someone of the opposite sex represented 73 percent of total sample size. WHY IT'S SO SURPRISING 77% of women take primary or equal responsibility for paying their electricity bills. of women are conserving electricity in their homes in a variety of ways, from turming down the thermostat 97% to buying energy-efficient appliances. 90% of women think solar should play a very or somewhat important role in our country's energy future. REAL SOLAR OWNERS SAY: "My wife was really against it. Now she constantly tells friends, co workers, and clients how much she is saving every month with our system." S THEY'RE REALLY INTO CARS Solar homeowners love their gadgets-especially their rides. One of the most surprising things about the responses is how many people mention their love of cars. With a home solar system, people are powering their electric cars for free or feeling better about offsetting their gas-guzzlers. OF SOLAR HOMEOWNERS SAY 44% THEY'RE "TECH/GAOGET CRAZY" REAL SOLAR OWNERS SAY: "I have a drag race car, a four-wheel drive, a V8 Jeep hot rod, and a speedboat-all petrochemical swillers." "I'm a motorhead, very interested in cars and motorcycles, working on them, watching them race, understanding the technology. I got the solar in order to fuel my electric vehicles." "Our solar panels ultimately charge our electric car, so it essentially costs zero dollars for us to drive." "I can use it as carbon offset to driving my truck." "Auto racing is in my blood, and I invest in oil and gas companies." "I drag race and build race cars." 6 THEY LIKE TO CRANK THE A/C Solar homeowners love to indulge. They crank the A/C in the summer guilt-free and without a worry about what they'll pay at the end of the month. "My husband likes his air conditioning in the summer, which gave us the extra incentive to purchase the solar panels." "I no longer bug my wife about running A/C in the summer or leaving the lights on. and I secretly appreciate turning A/C on in the summer more often, too." REAL SOLAR OWNERS SAY: "The size of the solar was based on a year when summer was hot, running our old A/C. We spend less kWh in summer and the "Nice to keep the air conditioning running and not feel guilty." unused accumulated kWh are used in winter to provide heat." 7 18 PERCENT HAVE BEEN IN THE MILITARY Nearly a third of solar homeowners consider themselves resourceful, ready-for-anything types. That makes sense considering roughly one in five has served in a branch of the U.S. military. 29% 18% SAY THEY'RE "SELF RELIANCE HAVE SERVED IN THE MILITARY. FANS/PREPAREONESS PRONE." 8 THEY'RE SOMEWHAT RELIGIOUS Athiests and evangelicals both love solar, but the average solar homeowner is, once again, noticeably moderate in his or her beliefs. On the religious spectrum from "not at all" to "extremely" religious, most solar homeowmers place themselves nearly in the middle of the road at "a little religious/spiritual." WHERE WOULO PLACE YOURSELF ON THE RELIBIOUS/SPIRITUAL SPECTRUM? AVERAGE 2.37 A LITTLE RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL NOT AT ALL RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL A LITTLE RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL SOMEWHAT RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL VERY RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL EXTREMELY RELIBIOUS/SPIRITUAL 9 THEY'RE CRUSHING WALL STREET In a time when many investors are struggling to find ways of earning even a 2 or 3 percent rate of return, a high ratio of people who bought solar say they're using their solar system to get returns twice and even three times as high. Note, rates of return vary depending on current cost of electricity and other factors. AVERAGE ELECTRICITY BILL BEFORE AND AFTER SOLAR BEFORE $177.60 ANNUAL SAVINGS $55 $1,471 0= AFTER REAL SOLAR OWNERS SAY: "I figure I'm eaming about 8 percent on my investment. And it's tax free! Where can you get that rate now?!" "Why wouldn't I want to invest in something that returms at least 16 percent on my money, year in and year out?!" "We figured the one sure thing in life was that the electricity rates would not go down over time. It was a good investment." "My solar system will pay itself off in 5-6 years. Then the savings will help fund my children's college education." One Block JOff the Grid SOURCES: ONE BLOCK OFF THE GRID POLL DATA, GALLUP, POLITICO, WOMEN IMPACTING PUBLIC POLICY, WOMEN'S COUNCIL ON ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT THE SMART, NEW WAY TO GO SOLAR HTTP://1BOG.ORG

9 Surprising Things About People Who Go Solar

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The people who buy solar panels are your typical tree-hugging, left-leaning, well-to-do-ex-hippies, right? Wrong! One Block Off the Grid polled nearly 200 solar homeowners to learn a little bit about ...




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