Note — This project is now complete. See the output here.
Woodlawn Associates is seeking sponsors for a syndicated research project, Solar Installation Effectiveness, examining the average installation cost of residential solar installers in the United States.
The primary goals of the project are to help our sponsors understand (a) how their own solar installation cost compares with the industry and (b) what they can do to make their operations more efficient. By “installation cost,” we mean the total cost a solar installation company occurs between the time it signs a contract with a consumer and when resulting system is fully commissioned and interconnected.
This project can be viewed as a companion to our early study, Solar Marketing Effectiveness, which examined sales and marketing costs and best practices.
The primary questions addressed in the project will include:
- Total dollars spent per installation and per kW
- Number of systems and kW installed per employee per month
- Employment cost per FTE
- Overall installation expense by category (employment costs, subcontracted services, IT, vehicles, etc.)
- Number of man-hours per installation and per kW
- Number of calendar days per installation (contract to commissioning)
In addition, we will provide information on how to improve performance on these metrics. For example, the characteristics that are consistent with lowest installation costs:
- Geographically focused vs. national/regional
- Geographic area of focus
- Very large vs. “merely” large
- Own employees vs. subcontractors
- Micro vs. traditional inverters
- Primarily flat roofs vs. sloped roofs
If you are a solar installer in the United States and would like to talk with us about participating, please contact contact Josh Lutton, managing partner, at +1 (312) 262-1610 or Iain Drummond, partner, at +1 (415) 343-5296.