Washington: People are more likely to install a solar panel on their rooftops if they spot one in their neighbourhood, according to a Yale and New York University study.
The more exposed to solar panels, the more likely were larger households and people with longer commutes to adopt the technology, compared to people who carpooled and lived in smaller households.
Researchers studied clusters of solar installations throughout California from January 2001 to December 2011 and found that residents of a particular area are more likely to install solar panels if they already exist on their street, the journal Marketing Science reports.
“If my neighbour installs a solar panel and tells me he’s saving money and he’s really excited about it, it’s likely I’ll go ahead and do the same thing,” said study co-author Kenneth Gillingham, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
“Then there are others who’ll install because they don’t want to be one-upped by their neighbours,” added Gillingham, also assistant professor of economics at Yale, according to a Yale statement.
“These results provide clear evidence of a statistically and economically significant effect,” said Bryan Bollinger, co-author and assistant professor of marketing at New York University Stern School of Business.
They found that males aged between 45 and 65 years, who have a 30-minute commute and home repairs were tied to higher adoption rates. Gillingham suggested that a disproportionate number of engineers working in Silicon Valley may explain the result.
“These findings have clear implications for marketers who are striving to reduce the high cost of consumer acquisition in the solar photovoltaic market,” said Bollinger.