I read an article recently talking about a new eco concept labeling light vs dark green consumers. Light green consumers are people who shop for goods that are green, good for the environment (at least according to the label) and cost the same as the alternative and conventional non-green product. They support environmental causes, but only if it doesn’t require extra effort or personal sacrifice on their own part. Dark green consumers on the other had are die hards. They will pay 100% more for a product that explodes with green goodness. They go out of their way to shop at establishments if it means getting the best and most pure product in their hands. They are passionate and willing to give up some conveniences if it means saving the earth. In many ways, they aren’t motivated by being consumers and wanting stuff; they accept that they must consume in our culture, so therefore it is their duty to consume in the most simple and responsible manner. “Earth First”, says the dark green enthusiast.
In today’s current market, light green consumerism has taken a plunge. When it comes to dollars and cents, the cheap generic and conventional products are chosen more often than their green counterparts. Dollars speak. Dark Green consumers exists and will always exist as their convictions run deep and they will not be swayed by an economic downturn. In the solar industry we see both light and dark green consumers, but most are light green. Let’s face it, solar is cost prohibitive for many individuals, and paying an electric bill each month fits the budget easier than spending thousands of dollars all at once. Our dark green customers do exist, but we cannot sustain a business off a few people’s passions- we need solar to be accessible to the masses. Solar pricing comes down every month and we expect it to continue to drop not only as we get better price breaks from distributors because of our high volume business, but because components are cheaper and we are getting more efficient.Our long term focus as an industry must be this: How do we get solar into the hands of light green consumers and then turn them into dark green followers passionate about the future of our industry and planet?