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Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Among Low- and Middle- Income Households (SEEDS II)

Building on findings from research on strategies that moved the needle on rooftop solar installations, Yale is working with partner organizations to explore ways to broaden the appeal of solar power to a mass market, including low- and moderate-income households.

Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Among Low- and Middle- Income Households (SEEDS II)

Building from recent research testing strategies and messages that are most conducive to solar adoption, this new project seeks to develop more effective ways to communicate with low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities about solar.

Defined as annual household income below $50,000 and between $50,000-$75,000, respectively, LMI communities forego solar for any number of reasons—financing issues, lack of access to capital, limited information, the complexities associated with installations on multi-family dwellings, low homeownership rates. We are interested in how peer-to-peer and on-the-ground community campaigns might be applied to overcome these challenges.

This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative.

About the Partnership

The project is funded by the DOE’s Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies (SEEDS) program and will involve several partners, including:

About the SunShot Initiative

About the SunShot Initiative

The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a national effort to drive down the cost of solar electricity and support solar adoption. SunShot aims to make solar energy a low cost electricity source for all Americans through research and development efforts in collaboration with public and private partners. Learn more at

SunShot Initiative

In the News

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies: "Yale-Led Project to Widen Access to Household Solar Receives Federal Grant"


Academic Publications

Academic Publications

G. Fibich (2017) Diffusion of new products with recovering consumers


Kraft-Todd, Bollinger, Gillingham, Lamp & Rand (2018) Credibility-enhancing displays promote the provision of non-normative public goods


White Papers

white papers download

Harari and Kaufman, Sept 2017
Bovarnick and Johnson, Oct 2017

Seeds Blog

People & Partners

Kenneth Gillingham

Associate Professor of Environmental & Energy Economics at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Bryan Bollinger

Assistant Professor of Marketing at Duke University: The Fuqua School of Business

Nikki Springer

Director of Research, Strategy, and Programs at Renewable Thermal Alliance
MBA 2018
PhD in Environmental Management 2018

Stuart DeCew

Executive Director at Yale Center for Business and the Environment
MBA 2011
Master of Environmental Management 2011

Toni Bouchard

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at SmartPower

Bryan Garcia

President and CEO at Connecticut Green Bank
Master of Environmental Management 2000

Sophie Tyack

MBA 2020
Master of Environmental Management 2020

Cici Wang

MBA 2022
Master of Environmental Management 2022