What motivates people to install rooftop solar panels? Which incentives or policies can rapidly boost the adoption of this technology? Which programs are persistently effective, and which are most easily scaled? The answers to these questions are essential for promoting a sustainable energy future.
Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, a multidisciplinary set of partners came together to test these questions by examining the uptake of solar through the Solarize CT program. Out of this collaboration, we have produced a guidebook for community and business leaders, active citizens and policymakers detailing the most effective strategies for accelerating the adoption of residential solar.
The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Duke University, in collaboration with the CT Green Bank and SmartPower, conducted a series of rigorous controlled field trials to better understand the adoption of residential solar.
The Yale Center for Business and the Environment coordinated the partnership and worked with a team of students to facilitate the research, assist with the data analysis and create this guidebook.
The Connecticut Green Bank, a state-level institution devoted to expanding the region’s clean energy sources, accelerated consumer financing options by developing risk-reduction mechanisms in partnership with local lending and capital partners.
SmartPower, a social marketing firm, provided insight and support for Solarize CT, creating high impact on-the-ground community campaigns.
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 energy.gov/sunshot.
Yale News: "National guidebook maps the way toward ‘tipping points’ in solar adoption" - April 2017
Washington Times: "Solar Panels Power Up in Connecticut" - May 2015
KLIV San Jose with Barry Cinnamon: “What Influences People to Install Solar?” - Nov 16, 2014
PrettyVisible Blog: “Solar is Contagious” - Nov 12, 2014
UtilityDive.com: “How Solar Power Spreads Among Neighbors ‘Like a Contagion’” - Nov 3, 2014
PVBuzz.com: “Solar Power Growth in U.S. Neighbourhoods Could be Contagious (Study)” - Oct 25, 2014
Vox.com: "Solar power is contagious: Installing panels often means your neighbors will too" - Oct 24, 2014
Washington Post: "Why do people put solar on their roofs? Because other people put solar on their roofs" - Oct 23, 2014
Washington Square News: “Stern, Yale Professors Team Up To Research Solar Energy” - Oct 1, 2013
New Haven Register: “Yale Receives $1.9 million Solar Grant” - Jan 30, 2013
Bollinger, Gillingham, Tsvetanov (2016) The Effect of Group Pricing and Deal Duration on Word-of-Mouth and Durable Good Adoption: The Case of Solarize CT
Graziano and Gillingham (2015) Spatial patterns of solar photovoltaic system adoption: The influence of neighbors and the built environment
Bollinger and Gillingham (2012) Peer Effects in the Diffusion of Solar Photovoltaic Panels
Tsvetanov and Gillingham Hurdles and Steps: Estimating Demand for Solar Photovoltaics
Project of Distinction Winner at PV America!
On March 9, 2015 Solarize Connecticut and the SEEDS Research project was awarded the highly coveted “Project of Distinction Award” by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) at PV America in Boston. View the Press Release here.