To conserve or consume : behavior change in residential solar PV owners
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A survey of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) adopters in Texas was administered and the results are presented and discussed. A 40% response rate was achieved and 365 complete responses were received. In addition to demographics, the survey uncovered aspects related to the decision-making process, information search, financial attractiveness of PV, and post-installation experience. Peer-effects did not have a large influence on the adoption of residential PV in Texas, but the potential for increasing the number of communication/information channels to increase the adoption rate of PV exists. Adopters experienced little uncertainty at the time of PV installation because sufficient dependable information was available during the search process. Overall, they are satisfied with PV. Contextual factors, such as income and the ability to purchase a PV system rather than lease one, influence behavior. Those who decreased electricity consumption post-adoption were more motivated to adopt by environmental concern and a general interest in energy than those who increased electricity consumption post-adoption. Those who experienced behavior changes also experienced an increase in awareness of electricity use post-adoption, while those who did not experience a behavior change reported no change in awareness post-adoption. Change in awareness of electricity use is less dependent on the attitudinal and contextual factors, such as environmental concern, motivation for adoption, age, and income, that influence consumption change. The potential for further analysis of the survey results is great and will likely yield additional conclusions about the consequences of the adoption of PV. Coupling the survey results with historical electricity bill data will yield stronger conclusions about behavior change. Surveying geographical areas outside of Texas is recommended.