Wednesday, December 12, 2012

U.S. Solar Installers Confirm Dramatic Price Drop

FREMONT, Calif., Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- EchoFirst Inc., the leading maker of residential hybrid solar systems, today published a consumer guide entitled "Five Things Every Homeowner Should Know About Solar in 2013."

The short guide aims to bring homeowners up to date on the state of solar and highlights results of a recent poll in which 17 out of 20 solar installers in 13 U.S. states said solar prices dropped "dramatically" in 2012.

"This price drop has happened within the last twelve to eighteen months, so we wanted to make sure homeowners were aware of that," said EchoFirst Chief Marketing Officer Gordon Handelsman.

"Solar prices are expected to rise again at some point as the global oversupply of solar panels recedes and new tariffs come into play, so homeowners should take advantage of the lower prices now," he added.

The poll results confirm a recently published study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which found that solar prices fell substantially in 2011 and through the first half of 2012.

In addition to the downward pricing trend, the EchoFirst guide highlights the following:

    Rising grid power prices. In the U.S. the average price of grid power has experienced a steady upward trend since 2003.

    The increasing availability of solar leases. A 2012 study found 70 percent of new solar installations involved solar leases whereas only 30 percent were purchased outright.
    The availability of new hybrid solar systems. Residential hybrid solar systems — solar systems that provide both electricity and hot water heating — were once only available in Europe but are now available in the U.S. as well.

    The effects of recent severe weather. Hurricane Sandy may have rendered some U.S. homeowners better candidates for solar.

The guide is available here:

About EchoFirst Inc.
EchoFirst Inc. makes the revolutionary Echo and Echo+ hybrid solar systems. Echo solar systems are more powerful than basic solar systems and capture more of the sun's energy — saving homeowners more money on utility bills. Echo recently launched the the Echo CompleteLease, the nation's first combined solar electric and thermal lease for homeowners. For more information, call 800-970-ECHO or visit