Why should you choose to go Solar?

According to research from Yale University in the United States, community leaders who had installed solar plants themselves were able to persuade 62.8% more residents to go for solar panel installation Orlando, than the leaders who had not. This result supports the saying that deeds speak louder than words. When someone installs solar, they make it abundantly obvious that they think doing so is advantageous.

Promoting non-normative behavior requires the leadership of solar energy ambassadors or community leaders who set a positive example. Unfortunately, solar adoption is not yet the norm, so these leaders can bring about a change by boosting solar’s credibility.

1. Defaulting

Defaults are an effective method for adopting new policies. If a consumer doesn’t specifically state differently, they are defined as the option they are given. In other words, defaults alter the original choice sets so that customers must reject the option that has been shown to them rather than choosing it. Such default or opt-out solutions have greatly expanded involvement in retirement financial planning and organ donation.

Two German researchers have discovered that by making solar-paneled homes the standard, defaults can also promote the use of solar energy in households. In the trial, half of the subjects received contracts requiring them to choose to use green energy sources.

The other half received a contract that already included green energy. The researchers found that solar panel installation surged by 60% when renewable energy use became the norm or default for housing contracts rather than something that buyers had to choose. Therefore, decision-making can be altered by a simple adjustment in how a decision is presented.

2. Norming 

Informing consumers about what others are doing or utilizing is the notion. A potent strategy for behavior change may combine “Norming” (what your neighbors are doing) with feedback (how well you are doing in comparison). According to a recent study conducted in Italian families, households that use more energy are motivated to use less energy by implementing sustainable practices when they get a paper detailing their energy usage in comparison to other households in the community. Considering what others think and do as right is a common human trait. The societal norm of energy efficiency was established and influenced by seeing many people behave in this way.

3. Theorizing Signaling

The impact on morally upright or energy-efficient families is another intriguing conclusion from the Italian households experiment discussed above. Following receipt of a paper detailing community energy expenditure per household, these households also noticed a little decrease in energy usage.

This supports the behavioral technique of using signaling theory. Signaling is the propensity to engage in an action for its own sake rather than for the traits it reveals about ourselves. Humans like to hold a higher position than our peers and serve as role models. Emphasizing model behavior in energy efficiency is a useful strategy because efficiency is a desirable quality.

5. ROI

Consumer decisions are tangible for people standing on the shop floor of a goods retailer but otherwise can seem pretty nebulous. Return on investment is a concept that the solar rooftop sector understands much better than the end user. Therefore, additional work needs to be done to demonstrate a return on investment for this expensive item.

According to recent studies, people see solar energy as:

  • an advantage for the environment
  • a cutting-edge technology that lowers long-term costs
  • a product for consumers that conveys status

It has been successful in boosting the uptake of solar energy by customizing messaging in an integrated framework that describes return on solar investment as a mix of these three characteristics.

6. Aversion to Loss

Loss aversion is a key concept in behavioral economics, and it holds that even when our final positions are the same, people care more about losses than gains. According to behavioral research, it is more impactful to inform someone of the costs associated with taking a long shower than to tell them how much they would gain from taking a shorter one.

In the rooftop solar sector, it makes more sense to frame choices in terms of what one stands to lose by choosing against solar energy rather than what one would gain by choosing in favor of solar energy because losses psychologically hurt more than benefits do.

7. Negligence of the Future

One of the obstacles to increasing energy efficiency using rooftop solar is that while the benefits are acquired over a long period of time, the expenditures are immediate and occasionally very high.

We are aware that people frequently “discount the future”; that is, they might choose a smaller benefit now over a larger return down the road. Giving people instant benefits for being proactive (instead of long-term paybacks) rather than long-term paybacks (such as discounts, vouchers, or awards) can be a way to combat this irrational human propensity and raise the value of the future.

Our generation’s most serious issue is climate change, and modifying consumer behavior is a workable solution. In an effort to close the gap between intention and behavior when adopting energy-efficient habits, there is a substantial and constantly developing body of research identifying and outlining solutions that can assist modify consumption patterns.

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