How to accelerate rooftop solar: key insights and strategies


  • Anam Tariq
  • Rakhim Rakhimov
  • Travis Niles
April 1, 2024

Installing rooftop solar panels is a crucial step an individual can take to combat climate change. In a study Rare conducted in July 2023, we sought to uncover why individuals consider or reject installing rooftop solar panels. The motivation behind this research was to identify actionable behavioral insights that can drive rooftop solar adoption.

Study overview

We conducted eight qualitative interviews with rooftop solar technology adopters and non-adopters to gauge personal motivations and identify obstacles in an individual’s decision-making processes.

Research findings

Motivations for Solar Adoption

Self-sufficiency, especially independence from the grid, emerged as some respondents’ primary motivation. Predictable monthly energy payments and long-term savings were other prominent motivators. Environmental concerns were a secondary motivation for some.

Barriers to Adoption

Key obstacles included aversion to sales pressure, desire for a simplified decision-making process, and the need for transparency and trustworthy information. Individuals also highlighted the complexity of installation and perceived lack of value compared to other home improvements they could implement.

Why these findings matter

These insights are invaluable for tailoring marketing and behavior change campaigns to accelerate solar adoption. Understanding that consumers value independence and financial predictability offers a clear direction for messaging. Additionally, addressing barriers by simplifying the solar buying process can significantly enhance consumer engagement and adoption rates.

Behavioral recommendations

To overcome identified barriers and leverage motivations, we suggest the following strategies:

  • Emphasize Stability: Highlight solar panels as a hedge against electricity price volatility.
  • Utilize Loss Aversion: Frame the ongoing cost of traditional energy as a loss to motivate the switch to solar.
  • Showcase Social Proof: Use testimonials to provide relatable evidence of benefits.
  • Focus on Resilience: Target areas prone to power outages, emphasizing solar’s reliability.
  • Simplify the Purchase Process: Make solar adoption as straightforward as possible, reducing the reliance on traditional sales methods.

Read the full blog about the study here.