Customer sales acquisition costs are increasing for solar rooftop companies.
GTM Research says that 17% of the installed cost of the average US solar rooftop system today is the cost to acquire the customer. The figure is expected to increase to 20% to 21% for the period 2018 through 2022 as solar equipment costs fall faster than marketing costs.
The three leading solar rooftop companies — Tesla, Sunrun and Vivint — spent 90¢ a watt to acquire customers in the first quarter of 2017, according to GTM. Rising wages and additional hires for the sales force are the main culprits, as are lower closing rates as sales people go after customers to whom it is harder to make sales.
Smaller local installers have costs of only 28¢ to 36¢ a watt. GTM says they benefit from marketing being done by the larger rooftop companies.