Drivers of US solar adoption across income levels


From pv magazine USA

Solar on a neighbor’s rooftop may influence another neighbor to go solar, especially if the solar is visible and if the neighbor talks about it. However, the level of influence is not even across income levels, as Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers note in “The role of peer influence in rooftop solar adoption inequity in the United States,” which was recently published in Science Direct.

Understanding peer influence in the solar buying decision is important as the solar industry strives to roll out solar to increasing numbers of households. As it is discovered that peer influence is not as strong among low- to middle-income (LMI) households, the solar industry may be better able to adjust its marketing focus and policy makers may consider changes to policies to increase LMI adoption.

As a data source, the researchers used records of over 800,000 US rooftop solar installation records compiled by BuildZoom, an online platform connecting households with service contractors. They then used customer addresses to match the solar records to modeled household-level income estimates generated by Experian and eliminated tracts with daily adoption rates of >10% as extreme outliers or possible data errors.









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