Episode 165: Why do people decide to put solar panels on their home?

Casey Canfield, a recent PhD graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Engineering and Public Policy Department, discusses some of the social, economical, and environmental factors that influence people to power their home with solar energy.

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Respond

Learn More

Planning a Home Solar Electric System from the Department of Energy

A Consumer’s Guide: Get Your Power from the Sun from the National Renewable Energy Labaratory

Solar Power for Your Home from the Federal Trade Commission

Transcript

HOST: Why do people decide to put solar panels on their home? On this week’s Energy Bite, Casey Canfield, a recent PhD graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, has some answers.

CASEY: You may think that people only consider environmental goals when they install solar panels, but other factors such as economics and appearance play a role.  Some view it as a good financial investment, such as retirees who want to stabilize their electricity costs while on a fixed income.  On the other hand, some may dislike the look of solar panels or may be overruled by their homeowner’s association.

HOST: What else influences consumers to adopt solar power?

CASEY: People are also influenced by their social network. When people see their neighbors getting solar panels, they may be more motivated to investigate getting solar panels themselves. People also prefer to get information from those who they trust. So…if their neighbor says that solar panels are a good investment, they take that information more seriously.

HOST: Would you install solar panels on your home? Take our poll, see the results, and ask your energy questions at Energy Bite dot org.

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