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consumer uptake of rooftop solar

Project Overview

Customer decisions to adopt (or not adopt) new technologies are influenced by more than price alone. Whether households adopt solar photovoltaics (PV) may depend on access to, and understanding of, information about PV, established community norms, context-specific motivations and concerns, and the experiences of peers within social networks.


This research focused on collecting new market data to inform models of household PV adoption and diffusion. The project comprised three main tasks:

  • Surveying PV adopters, people who considered but did not get PV, and the general population to understand motivations and barriers to adoption

  • Developing agent-based models to simulate regional PV adoption trends 

  • Testing the influence of marketing messages on the perceived financial benefits of PV


Wolske, K. S., Stern, P. C., & Dietz, T. (2017). Explaining interest in adopting residential solar photovoltaic systems in the United States: Toward an integration of behavioral theories. Energy Research & Social Science, 25, 134–151.


Stern, P. C., Wittenberg, I., Wolske, K. S., & Kastner, I. (2018). Household production of photovoltaic energy: Issues in economic behavior. In A. Lewis (Ed.), Cambridge Handbook of Psychology and Economic Behavior (2nd ed., pp. 541–566). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Wolske, K. S., Todd, A., Rossol, M., McCall, J., & Sigrin, B. (2018). Accelerating demand for residential solar photovoltaics: Can simple framing strategies increase consumer interest? Global Environmental Change, 53, 68–77. 

Visit main project website here 

Project Team

National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Ben Sigrin, Easan Drury

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Annika Todd, Ryan Wiser

Clean Power Finance - James Tong

Social and Environmental Research Institute - Paul Stern, Tom Dietz

Portland State University - Loren Lutzenhiser, Mithra Moezzi, Aaron Ingle

University of Arizona - Adam Henry

University of Michigan - Kim Wolske, Andrew Hoffman

University of Colorado - Seth Spielman


U.S. Department of Energy Sunshot Initiative, Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies (SEEDS) Program

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