With residential solar systems gaining popularity in the U.S., a growing number of consumers are choosing American-made solar panels for their homes. According to a national solar survey conducted in 2011, 82 percent of those polled support American solar manufacturing. “We’ve all heard about the importance of manufacturing to the American economy,” said Robert Fortunato, whose California home hosts 26 solar panels made by SolarWorld in Hillsboro, Ore. “We selected our U.S.-made solar system for its quality, reliability and financial return, and because we think it’s important to support the companies and workers who are building tomorrow’s energy sources in America today.” Solar installers and electricians offer a range of domestic products. “We only install American-made solar panels,” said Nancy Milford, president of SunLit Solar, a family-owned solar installation company in Medina, Ohio. “For our family and for our customers, it’s important to support the U.S. economy by selling and installing products that employ as many Americans as possible.” According to industry experts, here are the top reasons that homeowners select solar panels from American manufacturers. Quality and reliability. A residential solar system is effectively a power plant installed on a home rooftop, and it’s designed to last at least 25 years. Consumers trust American solar-panel manufacturers to stand behind their product guarantees because these companies rank high in quality, responsiveness to warranty claims, accessibility for customer service and compliance with safety requirements. Sustainability. Sustainably-minded Americans see little logic in buying a solar system that was made in Asia and shipped via a diesel-burning cargo ship halfway around the world. Instead, green buyers select domestic solar panels, produced according to stringent environmental, labor and quality standards, to reduce the environmental impact. Energy independence. For the U.S., solar power represents an important tool for achieving energy independence. Just as people believe the nation should not rely on the Middle East for imported oil, many also understand that America should not depend on foreign technology or manufacturing. American job creation. The U.S. solar manufacturing industry employs thousands of Americans across the country. Study after study shows that technology and manufacturing jobs, with comparatively high wages and benefits, are the types of jobs that the U.S. should aspire to create and maintain.