5 Solar Sales Objections and How to Respond

June 28, 2024

How to Respond to Homeowners and Build Best Practices

Residential solar is on the rise with 4.4 million American homes choosing clean energy. Despite growing popularity, many homeowners remain skeptical, hesitant or overwhelmed by the solar purchasing process.

It is important for solar installers to identify common sales objections and develop effective responses. While some homeowners are firm in their objection, some may be misinformed or have concerns about the technology, its advantages and your company.

What is a Sales Objection?

A sales objection is any reason a potential customer gives during the sales process for why they might not buy a solar panel and/or battery storage system. These objections can be concerns, questions or pushbacks about the product, service or business.

Sales objections can be opportunities for solar installers to better understand consumer needs, preferences and attitudes. Installers and solar sales professionals should use active listening and respond with empathy to consumer pushback.

Objection 1: “The Upfront Costs of Solar Are Too High”

A significant barrier to adopting solar for many homeowners is the perceived high upfront cost. This includes the price of hardware and labor. The initial investment can seem daunting, especially when compared to the regular utility bills they are used to paying. It’s essential to address this concern effectively to help homeowners see the long-term benefits and financial feasibility of solar energy.

How to Respond:

  1. Acknowledge Their Concerns: Start by empathizing with the homeowner’s financial concerns. Recognize that the initial cost can seem high and it’s a valid consideration for any major home improvement.

    Example Response: “I understand that the upfront cost of solar can seem substantial. It’s a significant investment and it’s important to consider all the financial aspects.”
  2. Explain Incentives: Inform the homeowner about federal, state and local incentives that can significantly reduce the upfront costs. Highlight the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), state-specific rebates and other local programs that offer financial assistance.

    Example Response: “There are incentives available to help reduce the initial cost. For instance, the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit can cover a significant portion of your installation costs. Additionally, many states and local utilities offer rebates and incentives that further reduce the expense.”
  3. Discuss Financing Options: Present various financing options such as solar loans, leases and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) that can help manage the upfront costs. Explain how these options work and how they can make solar installations more affordable.

    Example Response: “If the upfront cost is a concern, there are several financing options available. Solar loans allow you to pay for your system over time and solar leases or PPAs let you go solar with little to no upfront cost, paying instead for the electricity generated.”
  4. Highlight Long-Term Savings: Emphasize the long-term financial benefits of solar, including reduced energy bills and increased home value. Provide examples or case studies showing how homeowners have saved money over time by investing in solar.

    Example Response: “While the initial investment might seem high, it’s important to consider the long-term savings. Most homeowners see a significant reduction in their energy bills, often paying off the initial investment in just a few years. Plus, solar panels can increase your home’s value.”
  5. Break Down the Costs: Offer a clear breakdown of the costs involved in a solar installation, showing exactly where the money goes. This transparency can help homeowners understand that they are paying for high-quality equipment and professional installation.

    Example Response: “Let me break down the costs for you: the price includes high-quality solar panels, inverters, any necessary storage batteries and professional installation. Each component is essential for an efficient and long-lasting solar energy system.”

Objection 2: “I Heard I Can Get Free Solar Panels Through Government Programs”

One of the most pervasive myths in the solar industry is the idea that homeowners can receive solar panels for free through government programs. This misconception stems from aggressive marketing tactics and misleading advertisements that promise “free solar” or “no-cost installation.” While there are incentives, tax credits and financing options available to make solar more affordable, the reality is that there are no programs that provide solar panels entirely for free without some form of payment or financial commitment.

How to Respond:

  1. Acknowledge the Confusion: Start by validating the homeowner’s concerns. They likely encountered convincing advertisements or heard from friends and family about seemingly fantastic deals.

    Example Response: “I understand why you might think that; there are a lot of ads out there that can be quite misleading.”
  2. Educate on the Facts: Provide clear information about the actual government incentives available, such as the Investment Tax Credit, state rebates and other local incentives. Explain how these programs work to reduce the overall cost but do not eliminate it entirely.

    Example Response: “While there are no programs that give solar panels away for free, there are excellent incentives available. For example, the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit allows you to deduct a significant portion of your solar installation costs from your federal taxes.”
  3. Discuss Financing Options: Highlight various financing options such as solar loans, leases and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) that can make solar installation more accessible without large upfront costs. These options often confuse homeowners into thinking solar is “free,” so clarify how they work and what the long-term financial benefits are.

    Example Response: “Many people who think solar is free are actually talking about financing options like solar leases or PPAs. These options allow you to go solar with little to no upfront cost, but you’ll pay for the electricity generated, often at a lower rate than your current utility bill.”
  4. Showcase the Value: Emphasize the long-term savings and benefits of investing in solar energy. Highlight how solar panels increase home value, reduce energy bills and contribute to environmental sustainability.

    Example Response: “While it’s not free, investing in solar panels can save you a significant amount of money over the years. Plus, it increases your home’s value and helps reduce your carbon footprint.”

Objection 3: “Solar Panels Will Ruin the Look of My Home”

Many homeowners are concerned about the aesthetics of solar panels and related hardware, fearing that they will detract from the character and appearance of their homes. This objection often arises from the perception that solar installations are bulky, unsightly or clash with the architectural style of their property. Addressing this concern requires a thoughtful approach that balances functionality with design considerations.

How to Respond:

  1. Acknowledge Their Concerns: Begin by recognizing the importance of aesthetics to the homeowner. Validate their feelings about the appearance of their home and the desire to maintain its visual appeal.

    Example Response: “I completely understand your concern. The look of your home is important and it’s natural to want to maintain its aesthetic appeal.”
  2. Highlight Modern Design Options: Explain that modern solar panel designs have come a long way. Many newer models are sleek, low-profile and can blend more seamlessly with various roof types and home styles.

    Example Response: “Today’s solar panels are much more aesthetically pleasing than they used to be. There are sleek, low-profile options that can blend in with your roofline and maintain the look of your home.”
  3. Discuss Placement Options: Inform the homeowner about the flexibility in placement options. Panels can often be installed in less visible areas, such as the backside of the roof or ground-mounted systems can be considered if roof aesthetics are a primary concern.

    Example Response: “There are various placement options available. We can install the panels on the backside of your roof where they’re less visible or even consider ground-mounted systems if your property allows.”
  4. Showcase Real-Life Examples: Provide examples and photos of homes with aesthetically pleasing solar installations. This can help homeowners visualize how solar panels can be integrated into their property without compromising its look.

    Example Response: “Let me show you some examples of homes similar to yours that have beautiful solar installations. These real-life examples might give you a better idea of how well solar can blend in with your home’s design.”
  5. Emphasize the Benefits: Remind the homeowner of the substantial benefits of solar energy, including energy savings, increased property value and environmental impact, which often outweigh the aesthetic concerns.

    Example Response: “While aesthetics are important, the benefits of solar energy are significant. You’ll save on energy costs, increase your home’s value and contribute positively to the environment. Many homeowners find that the benefits far outweigh the initial aesthetic concerns.”

Objection 4: “I Heard That Going Solar Will Completely Eliminate My Utility Bill”

A common misconception among homeowners is that installing solar panels will entirely eliminate their utility bills. This belief can lead to disappointment and frustration if the reality does not meet their expectations. It’s crucial to address this misunderstanding by providing clear and accurate information about how solar energy systems work in conjunction with the utility grid and what homeowners can realistically expect in terms of utility costs.

The truth is — while electricity usage can be 100% offset by a solar-plus-storage system, this doesn’t necessarily mean utility bills will be 100% offset. This is due to connection fees or other utility costs.

How to Respond:

  1. Acknowledge Their Expectations: Start by validating the homeowner’s expectations. Explain that their desire to eliminate utility bills is understandable, but it’s important to set realistic expectations about what solar can achieve.

    Example Response: “I understand why you might think that going solar would completely eliminate your utility bill. It’s a common belief and it’s important to clarify how solar energy systems actually work.”
  2. Discuss Energy Consumption and System Size: Explain that the extent to which solar can offset their utility bill depends on their energy consumption patterns and the size of the solar system they install. Larger systems can offset more usage, but complete elimination of the bill is rare.

    Example Response: “The size of your solar system and your household’s energy usage play significant roles in how much of your utility bill is offset. While some homeowners come close to eliminating their bill, it’s not guaranteed for everyone.”
  3. Highlight Potential Savings: Emphasize the significant savings that solar energy can provide over time, even if it doesn’t completely eliminate their utility bill. Provide examples or case studies to illustrate typical savings.

    Example Response: “Even if your utility bill isn’t completely eliminated, many homeowners see substantial savings. For instance, you could reduce your bill by 50-90%, which adds up to significant savings over the years.”
  4. Clarify Additional Costs: Inform homeowners about other charges that may still appear on their utility bills, such as connection fees or charges for grid maintenance, even if their energy consumption is fully offset by solar production.

    Example Response: “It’s also important to note that most utility companies have a basic connection fee or maintenance charge that you’ll still need to pay, even if your energy usage is fully offset by your solar system.”

Objection 5: “Solar Panels Are Inefficient and Unreliable”

Some homeowners may have the concerns that solar panels are inefficient and unreliable, potentially stemming from outdated information or skepticism about new technology. They might be concerned about the efficiency of solar panels in generating enough power, their performance during cloudy days or their overall reliability in various weather conditions. Addressing these concerns requires providing up-to-date information and demonstrating the advancements in solar technology.

How to Respond:

  1. Acknowledge Their Concerns: Validate the homeowner’s concerns about efficiency and reliability. It’s important to show that you understand their hesitation and are prepared to address it with factual information.

    Example Response: “I understand why you might be concerned about the efficiency and reliability of solar panels. It’s important to make sure you’re investing in technology that you can count on.”
  2. Highlight Technological Advances: Explain how solar technology has significantly advanced over the years. Modern solar panels are highly efficient, converting more sunlight into electricity and are designed to perform well even under less-than-ideal conditions.

    Example Response: “Solar technology has come a long way. Today’s solar panels are much more efficient, with many models converting 17-23% of sunlight into electricity. This is enough to power your home.”
  3. Discuss Real-World Performance: Provide data and examples that illustrate the real-world performance of solar panels, including their durability and reliability in different weather conditions. Share statistics on how often solar systems meet or exceed expected energy production.

    Example Response: “In real-world conditions, solar panels are incredibly reliable. For instance, most systems continue to perform well even in diverse weather conditions and many homeowners find that their panels exceed their energy production expectations.”
  4. Emphasize Durability and Warranties: Highlight the durability of modern solar panels and the extensive warranties that back them. Many panels come with 25-year warranties, ensuring long-term reliability and performance.

    Example Response: “Modern solar panels are built to last. Most come with 25-year warranties, which means you can count on their performance for decades. They are designed to withstand various weather conditions, from heavy snow to high winds.”
  5. Share Independent Studies and Reviews: Refer to independent studies, industry reports and customer reviews that attest to the efficiency and reliability of solar panels. This third-party validation can help build confidence in the technology.

    Example Response: “Independent studies and numerous customer reviews consistently show that solar panels are both efficient and reliable. Many homeowners have shared positive experiences about their systems meeting or exceeding their expectations.”


Why Building Solar Sales Best Practices is Important

Building solar sales best practices is crucial because it ensures a standardized, efficient and ethical approach to selling solar energy solutions. Best practices lead to increased customer trust and satisfaction.

By establishing and adhering to these practices, sales teams can more effectively communicate the benefits and value of solar energy and provide accurate information to potential customers. This not only enhances the credibility of the company but also helps in reducing barriers to adoption, ultimately driving the growth of the solar energy market and contributing to environmental sustainability.

How Enact Helps Solar Installers

Enact transforms the solar design, proposal and sales process for installers with our all-in-one cloud software platform. Installers can generate fast and accurate proposals on the Enact Installer Platform. Meet your business’s demand and enhance operational efficiency with Enact. Increased efficiency means your business can get jobs done faster and pursue more projects.

The platform offers 3D solar and energy storage design options using satellite imagery. Our software is equipped with automatic height, automatic pitch and automatic azimuth detection using the Digital Surface Model. Installers can run shading analysis and determine the height of trees and obstacles.

Beyond solar design, installers can generate proposals with their own branding, design and pricing. Enact for Installers uses DocuSign to make signatures and document storage easy. You can set up multiple pricing templates that cater to your community and customer types. Installers can add preferred financing options — including loans, leases and PPAs — and compare cash flows. From beginning to end, Enact is here to accelerate solar and storage for installers.

Sign up for a free demo to see how the Enact Installer Platform can revolutionize your solar and energy storage business.


Written by Marketing Associate David Bartle and Digital Marketing Intern Hailey Bogetti
Reviewed by Senior Director of Consumer Sales Fernando Amoroso