The Good Kind of Peer Pressure!
What is the largest indicator that a given house will have solar panels?
It is not what you may think! According a study done by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, geographical distance from a house with solar panels is the largest indicator of if a given house will have solar panels. This means that installing solar panels on your house inadvertently acts like peer pressure to neighbors and influences them to invest in solar panels.
Although it may seem like affluent communities or environmentalists are more likely to invest in solar power, this is not necessarily the case. Geography was found to have even more of an influence on whether a house has solar panels than factors like socioeconomic status or political affiliation. This peer pressure effect is most significant 200 meters radially from a house with solar panels. Outside of this range, the effect decreases. This means that if you have solar panels on your house, all the houses in a 200-meter radius are more likely to also install a solar panel system.
So, if your neighbor has solar panels, you are more likely have them too. This effect has the potential to rapidly expand solar energy usage throughout a neighborhood or city. Installing solar panels on your house will not only reduce your carbon footprint and provide other environmental benefits, but it can also start a chain reaction of solar installations. This can drastically reduce carbon emissions in your area! So if you want to help push the energy transition towards renewables, put solar panels on your house and inspire your neighbors to do so too.