What do Solar Rights Alliance members think? We ask every new member to complete a survey so that we can be a more responsive organization. Here's a snapshot about what our members tell us is important to them.
Most everyone has solar, very few have battery storage
Not shockingly, most Solar Rights Alliance survey respondents have solar themselves -- about 95%. Also not surprising, only 11% of respondents have battery storage systems. This figure will likely increase over the next few years as the price of storage drops and more and more people install both solar and storage in their homes and businesses.
Most are satisfied with their systems
Almost 95% of respondents are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their solar systems.
Saving money is key
We ask every member why they chose solar, and what the best thing is about having solar. The responses to both are best illustrated by these word clouds, respectively:
Top issues: blocking discriminatory fees, protecting independence from utility, ensuring a fair price for extra energy
The top issue that our respondents are concerned with are stopping the utilities from imposing unfair new fees on solar owners, following by enshrining the rights of solar users to install, store and generate their own solar energy without utility interference, and ensuring solar users get a fair price for the extra energy they give back to the grid.
Respondents are also concerned with cutting red tape that increases the cost and delays installations, making sure pro-solar lawmakers are elected to office, and making battery storage cheaper.
Batteries top the wish list
We ask our members what they wish were different about their solar system. While most members report general satisfaction with their systems, over 20% of respondents wish they could store their solar energy at home or at their business with a battery. Many people went solar before battery storage was even on the radar. Others were deterred by the upfront cost. We expect the price of battery storage to drop over the next few years, thanks to the newly extended energy storage rebate. Read "Six Tips for Deciding if Battery Storage is For You".
United by the right to choose solar
Our members shared some reasons for joining Solar Rights Alliance. Every response was interesting and fun to read.
The focus on protecting our right to make, store and share our own energy from the sun without the interference of a monopoly is the core animating value that unites Solar Rights Alliance members. It helps explain why over 500 members mobilized in 24 hours to tell Gov. Brown to sign SB 700 last month, and why we're confident that by speaking together, we can defend and spread the freedom and independence of solar across California.
Here's a sampling of responses, and another fun word cloud to brighten your day:
"Because I want all of us to have the right to keep and sell what energy our panels produce."
"Because I am ANGRY at being forced to use PG&E and pay higher and higher rates while they spend millions trying to make themselves look good via marketing...Make use of a solar power to improve your service to your customers rather than raising rates and trying to stop those who are willing to put out the money to harness the sun's energy."
"Because I have seen my energy company (PG&E) pull "shenanigans" to make it more expensive to use solar power by raising my base connection rates and lowering the amount of money I get reimbursed for selling them back the electricity I generate. This has nothing to do with encouraging me to save electricity: it has everything to do with penalizing me for using solar panels."
"I believe that solar power is a great technology and beneficial to all and that the perks that currently exist should be preserved future consumers...A consumer interest group seems like a step in the right direction."
"I know the power utilities don't like consumers eroding their monopoly and are employing lobbyists and trying to reduce or eliminate the benefits of solar when we need it the most as a society."
"I think solar owners should protect their rights."
"I want everybody to be able to go solar easily and I want to get paid back If I produce more energy than I use."
"[I joined] In hopes to prevent utility companies/government from changing the rules to their favor."
"It is the consumer/homeowners' right to be able to harness solar power and also put less stress on the power grid."
"It seems the utility company's are penalizing solar customers for cutting into their business. I am excited about the idea of citizens being able to fight back."
"I want to stay informed with what shenigans the utilities are trying to pull next."
"To help get utilities to pay more fairly for energy we produce."
"To protect my solar rights and freedom."