Today, EnergySage and NABCEP released the results of the sixth annual Solar Installer Survey, which they say is the largest and most comprehensive business survey of solar companies nationwide. Over 650 residential and commercial installers across the country participated in this year’s survey, which was fielded and authored by EnergySage in partnership with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

As was the case for every person and every sector, the story of 2020 for solar was dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This report captures key observations about the U.S. solar industry from local, regional, and national solar installers and provides a detailed look at the current state of affairs, as well as the mentality of installers going forward and their plans for growth.

Several key findings from the 2020 Solar Installer Survey are below:

Despite the pandemic, installers reported an all-time high in industry confidence 

Over half of respondents reported that their businesses were negatively impacted as a result of the pandemic. Still, installers expressed more confidence in the industry than in any previous Installer Survey, with just 18% of installers saying COVID-19 decreased their confidence. Nationally, three-fifths of installers stated being more confident in the solar industry than in 2019. Additionally, when asked about their three-year plans for growth, 67% of respondents continue to place a greater emphasis on gaining market share than on increasing the gross margins of each installation. 

The shift to 100% online selling is permanent for some, but temporary for most

When asked when they plan to resume selling solar in person, the majority of respondents stated that they are already doing so, or plan to soon, while many don’t expect to sell in person for several more months – if at all. However, 12% of solar installers plan to continue selling 100% remotely moving forward as a

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