Solar Peer Pressure

Here comes the sun… based energy source?!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science…and keeping up with the Jones’s!

Check out the neighbors’ new car! Should I spring for an upgrade? And what’s that happening up on their roof??!! 

Christine Horne and Thomas Familia from Washington State University wondered: could those around us influence our views on solar energy? 

To find out, they surveyed about thirty-four hundred California homeowners. The subjects were asked if their friends, family, and neighbors had rooftop solar panels. They also asked how interested people were in installing solar technologies on a five-point scale.

Results? Having friends and family who have solar panels makes people more likely to be interested in solar energy. Surprisingly, having solar-using neighbors DOESN’T have quite the same effect!

Households account for about twenty percent of the US’s energy use. Wider adoption of rooftop solar panels COULD help make a dent in greenhouse emissions.

When it comes to families, your relatives’ solar panels could make you “green” with envy. In a good way!

Reference: Source: Horne, C., & Familia, T. (2021). Norms, Norm Sets, and Reference Groups: Implications for Household Interest in Energy Technologies. Socius.