Full Title: Impacts of Non-Residential Solar on Residential Adoption Decisions
Author(s): Eric O'Shaughnessy, Galen L. Barbose, Alexandra Grayson, Isa Ferrall-Wolf, and Deborah Sunter
Publisher(s): Berkeley Lab
Publication Date: November 30, 2023
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Household decisions to adopt rooftop solar photovoltaics are partly driven by social influence. Previous research on solar adoption influence has focused on influence among residential peers. Here, they expand the framework of solar adoption influence by exploring the influence of non-residential installations on residential adoption decisions. This report uses staggered differences-in-differences to estimate non-residential influence effects using a large data sample of residential adoptions. It also critically evaluate prevailing frameworks for solar adoption influence. It find that non-residential installations are associated with accelerated residential adoption rates, on the order of 0.4 additional residential adoptions per quarter per non-residential installation. The report also shows that non-residential systems exert a continuous, long-term influence on residential adoption decisions. It then explores separate results and influence mechanisms for solar installed on commercial buildings, government buildings, and houses of worship. The results suggest that non-residential solar adopters could serve as partners in policies to “seed” residential adoption in underserved communities.