"We think people just don't realize how affordable solar has become. Less than half homeowners surveyed said that they realize that solar power is less expensive today than it was three years ago, when in reality the costs have fallen dramatically," said Jonathan Bass, vice president of communications at SolarCity.
About 29 percent of those surveyed said that they could be convinced to start using solar power at home if solar panel installation and equipment were free. Free solar panel installations are available in 14 states, Bass said.
Approximately 70 percent of all homeowners consider or investigate the sustainability of big-ticket items when making purchasing decisions, and more than half are more likely to take sustainability considerations into account today than they were three years ago, according to the data from SolarCity.
But homeowners seem to be starting small. The most popular planned clean-energy purchases in the next year are LED light bulbs (31 percent of homeowners), followed by smart thermostats, double- or triple-pane windows, hybrid cars, and Energy-Star rated hot water heaters, according to SolarCity, whose biggest U.S. competitors include Verengo Solar, Vivint Solar, REC Solar and Sungevity.