Referral programs are a growing marketing strategy for solar companies – and it’s not hard to see why. Solar referral programs are an effective way to get people talking about you and generate targeted word of mouth.

By rewarding customers who share your products and services with others, your business can enjoy a continued source of warm leads.

Solar panel referral programs use word-of-mouth marketing as a way to boost your business. In fact, many of the top solar companies already run successful referral programs.

We go over the top three examples below, as well as all the points to consider when starting your own solar referral program.

What is a solar referral program?

A solar referral program is a streamlined, formalized way to motivate customers to recommend your solar panel company to their peers. Solar panel companies use referral programs to boost their growth and market to a targeted audience. Existing customers, usually homeowners, are asked to share a solar company with their friends and family members, and earn rewards every time one of their friends becomes a qualified lead or new customer.

Why referral programs work for solar companies

When done right, a solar referral program helps you bring in new clients, gives you instant visibility on where your referrals come from, and scales your solar company’s growth.

Referral incentives (usually cash rewards) are a great motivation, especially if a solar company offers tiered rewards for those who send multiple leads. If a customer knows they will earn more with every referral, they will be more likely to draw more to your solar panel business.

Not only are customer referral programs an effective way to generate leads, these leads are likely to be a good fit for your products. Referrals come more informed and inclined to move forward with a purchase. After all, they know about your solar panel company before even making contact.

Benefits of referral programs for solar

Referral programs offer a number of benefits, especially for niche or specialty industries, such as solar. While it may be difficult to reach a highly targeted market through other channels, word of mouth generated through referral programs goes directly to high potential customers.

Although the incentives offered in solar referral programs are typically quite high (at least a few hundred dollars), the revenue generated by every new customer is significantly greater.

Solar panels are a considerable investment, and it can take some time for someone to go through the purchase funnel. A solar referral program can help speed up the sale and reduce your overall customer acquisition cost.

Word of mouth is most effective when it comes from someone you already trust. This type of marketing tends to take on a life of its own – an existing customer shares to their friends, and if those friends become existing customers, the cycle continues.

Your referral program can continue to bring in leads that have a high potential of becoming customers. In addition, these new leads are hearing about your company from their friends, which already puts your solar company in a positive light.

As you can see, referral marketing benefits all parties. It rewards both existing and referred solar customers. It also reduces your customer acquisition costs, increases customer loyalty, and grows your business with high-value leads. It’s a win-win-win situation.

Before you start a program

When considering a solar referral program, there are a few elements that should be in place. First, your solar company needs to have a strong existing customer base.

A referral program can’t be successful if it doesn’t have customers to get it up and running. Make sure you have a good number of existing customers (listing all of them down will help) who are willing to refer your solar company to others.

You’ll also need to know these customers well. Consider how you will invite them to your referral program and what will motivate them to refer. Plus, what platforms will your customers most likely use to refer others?

Another key factor is to have a defined branding and marketing strategy. If you’re asking your customers to help market your solar products, then you should already have a strong message and campaign. What do you want them to share about your brand? Why should they talk to their friends about going solar? And what makes you stand out from other solar companies?

Referral software for solar companies [Free Tools]

These referral tools for solar companies are a free and easy way to help you start your referral program.

Free Tools + Services:

Want a fully automated referral program for your solar business? Run your referral program with us at Referral Rock. Find out how we can build your program with you (and tailor it to your unique needs)

4 examples of solar company referral programs

The following four companies have used successful solar referral programs to increase their market share and total sales:

Option One Solar

Option One Solar runs a tiered referral program with varied rewards, based on the value of the solar system that a referred friend purchases. Customers earn $500 for every small system and $1,000 for every large system one of their friends gets installed. Plus, they earn an additional $1,000 bonus for every five referrals, which motivates them to keep sharing.

Option One provides plenty of options for customers to share with friends, including Facebook, X (Twitter), LinkedIn, Pinterest and email. They’ve covered all the bases where customers already share, making it more likely that customers will click and refer.

option one solar

Wolf Track Energy

Wolf Track Energy offers multi-step rewards to reflect the longer sales process: $25 for every qualified lead and $500 every time one of their friends signs a solar contract.

Wolf Track Energy lets customers access the program with Google, so they don’t need to enter a password every time. Plus, customers can track their referrals’ status at any time with a detailed dashboard. And when they earn rewards, they’re able to access these incentives right away in their email inbox.

wolf track energy


SunCommon runs two referral programs, one for referring homeowners and one for referring businesses. The B2B version of the referral program offers a higher reward for a larger solar installation, in a reflection of the higher value that brings to Suncommon.

We love all the extrinsic and intrinsic benefits SunCommon lists to encourage sharing: the savings solar energy brings a homeowner or business owner, the positive environmental impact, and the opportunity to share knowledge about solar’s advantages are showcased along with the referral rewards.

Although SunCommon includes referral forms on their site, they also make sharing much easier by letting customers create an account. This way, customers don’t have to enter info every time. All they need to do is use a social login and send off a referral link to their friends.


suncommon referral

Complete Solar

Complete Solar keeps things simple with a $250 reward for sharing, and shows how easy referring can be by explaining their program in three simple steps.

We’re also very impressed with the section that explains why customers should share solar with their friends. With all the intrinsic benefits of solar energy, a section like this can be very compelling for your own referral program. Just lead with the sharing widget and simple explanation first (like Complete Solar does) so the top of the page doesn’t feel too cluttered.

complete solar

complete solar reasons to share

Best practices for your solar referral program

Now that you’ve seen solar referral programs in action, follow these program ideas and best practices to start one of your own.

✅Offer valuable cash rewards.

  • Set up your referral program for success by offering the right incentives to motivate customers
  • Solar panels are a significant investment, so your referral rewards should be high-value to reflect that.
  • Of course, the reward must also be cost-effective for your business to pay out.
  • Double-sided rewards (rewards for both the referrer and friend) are best, as they incentivize both the existing customer to refer and the referred friend to purchase.
  • Cash is the recommended reward for both referrers and their friends. People love cash as they can spend it however they want.
  • When rewarding the referred friend, you might frame the cash reward as a rebate (they’ll appreciate the opportunity to save money).

✅ Consider different reward structures.

  • Since the purchase of solar panels often involves a longer discernment process, consider multi-step rewards. This means rewarding members for bringing in both qualified leads and customers who purchase solar panels.
  • You might also offer tiered rewards, which increase in value as a customer brings in more successful referrals.
  • Alternatively, you could offer larger reward amounts for higher-value purchases.
  • Referral Rock software is flexible enough to handle any reward structure you desire, including tiered rewards, multi-step rewards, and differing-value rewards based on purchase prices.

Here’s more on how Referral Rock can help you optimize rewards >

✅ Make sharing easy.

  • On your referral program page, make sure your customers can quickly understand what you want them to do (refer) and what’s in it for them (your incentive, plus any intrinsic benefits).
  • It’s best to condense your explanation into 3-4 simple steps.
  • Create and link to a separate referral FAQ, for any info you can’t concisely cover on the main page.
  • Let customers access the referral program with their Google account, so they don’t need to enter a password (Referral Rock offers this option).
  • Pre-draft messages for the customer to send to their friend. Make sure the message sounds conversational and like the customer wrote it.
  • Give customers multiple options for sharing, including email, social media, and a click-to-copy referral link.

✅ Use One Click Access links for the most streamlined sharing.

  • Referral Rock’s One Click Access links let your customers start sharing right away – they don’t need to sign up for the program, they’re already enrolled. Send out these links in emails.
  • Add One Click Access links to all emails where you promote your referral program, including transactional emails. Don’t limit them to just the emails dedicated to your referral program.

Learn more about how Referral Rock offers a streamlined referral experience to your customers >

✅ Know when to ask for referrals.

  • Ask for referrals when customers are happiest, like when they’ve left a positive review, or when you’ve completed an installation and you know they’re satisfied.
  • Ask your sales reps to reach out to existing loyal customers who you think would be interested in joining the program.
  • If you’re making the ask in person, hand the customer a flyer with a QR code that links to your referral program page. This way, they can easily find your program and start earning rewards.

✅ Promote your program frequently.

  • Your customers need to know about your program for it to be successful, so promote your program wherever you already communicate with customers.
  • Promote your program via dedicated monthly emails, sent to all customers.
  • Consider using Referral Rock’s Monthly Summary to send customers a motivating personal overview of their sharing activity.
  • We also recommend promoting your program in invoices, newsletters, and other emails you usually send to customers.

✅ Rely on the right software.

  • Use a dedicated software program to help plan and implement your solar panel referral program.
  • The right referral software will streamline your program creation and management, track the source of every referral, connect to your CRM to automate routine tasks, and collect detailed data to help refine your program.

Referral Rock software streamlines the program creation process and simplifies referral tracking and management. With Referral Rock, you can:

  • Fully customize rewards: Select any reward type and structure you wish, including tiered and multi-step rewards.
  • Track referrals seamlessly: Unique referral links for each customer let you track exactly where each referral came from. Plus, customers can track the status of referrals they send with their own personal dashboards.
  • Automate reward payouts: Send incentives right when they’re earned to keep customers happy. Connect with your CRM to automate payouts for both qualified leads and sales.
  • Automate promotions: Strategic, automated promotional emails keep customers engaged, and the passwordless links inside make sharing even easier.
  • Integrate with key tools: Seamlessly integrate Referral Rock with over 50 key tools, including your CRM and email platform.
  • Collect program data: Measure your program’s success at a glance, and make informed adjustments and improvements.

Referral Rock lets you set up your program in days (not months), with expert support at every step. Read more about how our referral program software can benefit your business.

“With Referral Rock’s easy-to-use dashboard, we can now track the status of each referral in real-time, keeping everyone in the loop. The organization and automation features have saved us time, streamlining tasks and communication. And the support team has been incredibly helpful!”

Savannah W., Associate Marketing Manager, Polaron Solar Energy

Generate warm leads with a referral program

Solar referral programs can be a great way to find new business. By encouraging happy customers to reach out to their own networks, you can gain warm leads – all without the added expense of traditional marketing.

Plus, when customers are rewarded for their efforts, they’re more likely to keep promoting your solar company again and again. A referral program is a smart and effective strategy to draw in new business and help your solar company grow.

To learn more about referral programs and how to get started, head to our referral marketing strategy guide.

About the author
bethaney-phillipsBethaney Phillips is a freelance writer specializing in digital marketing content and military family lifestyle stories. She enjoys staying caffeinated and utilizing Amazon Prime.