Solar is Contagious!

You may have heard of the broken window theory, which argues that broken windows and other visible signs of disrepair in a neighborhood lead to an increase in crime and vandalism. But did you know that solar PV systems can also be contagious?

A recent study from Marketing Science has shown that people are more likely to install a solar system if others in their neighborhood have one too.
Titled Peer Effects in the Diffusion of Solar Photovoltaic Panels, the authors of this study explain that:
“We study the diffusion of solar photovoltaic panels in California and find that at the average number of owner-occupied homes in a zip code, an additional installation increases the probability of an adoption in the zip code by 0.78 percentage points.”
The researchers used data from California during the time period from January 2001 through December 2011. During that time, some 85,046 households requested solar PV installations with the state’s three big utility companies.
In analyzing this data, the researchers say that they accounted for other explanations beyond the ‘casual peer effects,’ such as marketing efforts of solar companies and clustering of people who might be more inclined to choose solar power.
There were some interesting demographic finds of the study including the fact that, “Higher adoption rates are also associated with the percentage of the population who are male,  have over a 30-minute commute, and have home repairs.”
The authors of the study speculate that similar data analysis could prove useful to other areas of green energy technology such as electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles or geothermal heating.
SOURCE: http://sunetric.com/blog/post/solar-is-contagious/