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CHAPTER5

SOLARENERGY
Solarenergyhas receivedlittleattentioninsurveysoftheAmericanpublic.Several
questionsonsolarenergyhavebeenaskedin14nationalsurveyscontainedin this
review.Solarenergyisoftenincludedinlistsofenergysourcesforpeopletoapprove.
Mostoftheinformationdiscussedinthissection,however,comesfrom 12detailed

studiesoflocalsamplesandsubgroupsofthepopulation.Thesubgroupswereusually
definedbyresearchersasrepresentingthe"potentialmarket"forsolarenergydevices.
Thesampleswerehomeowners,homeseekers,orpeoplewhosaidtheywouldbuyahome
withinafewyears.Thesesamplesoftenwerenotrandomlydrawnandthepercentages
reportedinfindingscannotbeinterpretedasrepresentingthegeneralpublic.Whatthese
studiescanrevealistheopinionofpotentialcustomerslocatedthroughspecial
sampling.Theycanalsoshedlightonthemajorconcernsofrespondentsaboutsolar
energy.
Veryfewsurveyitemsaskedaboutjudgmentofsolarenergy'stechnicaleffectivenessand
feasibility.AHarrisstudyin1975,andagainin1976,askedanationalsamplewhetheror
nottheythoughttheUnitedStateshadatthattimethetechnicalknowhowtobuild
enoughsolarenergyplantstomeetourelectricpowerneeds.Inbothyearsaboutequal
portionsofthepublicfelttheknowhowexistedordidnotexist.Thegeneralpublic
differedmarkedlyonthisquestionfrompoliticalleaders,businessleaders,and
regulators,mostofwhomsaidthetechnologywasnotyetdeveloped.Most
environmentalists
alsothoughtthetechnologywasnotyetdeveloped,althoughby1976nearlyonethird
felttheUnitedStateshadtheknowhow.Themajoritythoughtitwouldtake10
yearsormoretobuildenoughsolarpowerplantstomeetamajorpartofourelectric
powerneeds.Mostpoliticalleaders,businessleaders,andregulatorsexpectedittotake
morethan25years[141].
AstudyinArizvnafoundabouthalfthesampleagreeingthatsolarenergyispractical
today,andonefourthsaidtheywerenotsure.Whenaskedifsolarenergywas
predictable
enoughtobedependableforwidespreaduse,40percentwerenotsure,whileabout
40percentsaiditwassufficientlypredictable[201].AsurveyofhomeownersbyRUPI,
Inc.(1977),foundalargemajorityagreeingwiththestatement,'?Themostpromising
energysourceofthefutureisthesun," withonefourthindicatingitwasthenlikelythat
theycouldgetresidentialsystemswhichmadeeconomicsense.AstudyofSanDiego
homeownersfoundjustoverhalf sayingthatsolarequipmentforhomeswasavailable
at
thetimeofthestudy.Aboutonethirdthoughtitwouldbefiveyearsor morebeforeit
wasavailable[252].
Oneitemaddressedsolarspacecooling.In1974alittleoverhalfofanationalsample
thoughtitsoundedreasonable,and45percentsaiditsounded'prettyfarfetchedv[141.

Climatewasseenbysomeasadrawbacktosolarenergy'sfeasibilityinseveralareas.*
InSanDiegooverhalfofhomeownerssampledagreedwiththestatement,"Solarmay
not
*Kg., Phoenix;KansasCity;Minneapolis;NewYork;Washington,D.C.;and San
Diego.
workinyourareabecauseoftoomanycloudsorfogaTtThreeoutoffourthoughtsolar
powermightnotworkbecauseofcoldtemperatures[25P.Climateproblemswere
mentionedbyrespondentsasamajordisadvantageofsolarpower(seeTable52). Climate
wasalsomentionedasadisadvantageofsolarapplicationsinthreeotherstudies
E209;302;Scott,19761.
Otherconcernsaboutthefeasibilityandeffectivenessofsolarenergymentionedby
repondentsinsevenstudiesincluded:(1)solarenergyisstillexperimental[117;209;252;
Scott,19761;(2)itwouldnotproduceenoughheat[104,209,2521; and(3)storage
problems
[252,3021.
Insummary,abouthalfoftwonationalsamplesandonelocalsamplethoughtsolarenergy
wastechnicallyreadynowtoproduceelectricalpowerorotherenergyneeds.Another
localstudyfoundhalfperceivingsolarenergyasafuturebutnotnecessarilyapresent
option.Specialsamplesofpolitical,business,regulatory,andenvironmentalleaders
thoughtsolarenergywasnotcurrentlyfeasible asreportedinonestudy.Climate,storage,
andneedforbackupwereperceivedbysampleminoritiesasproblemsassociated
withsolarfeasibility.Thesuggestionfromthesefindingsisthatsolarenergywasperceived
bymanyasnotcurrentlycapableofproducingmuchofthenation'senergysupply,
duetoconstructionneedsanditsexperimentalstatus.
RELATIVEADVANTAGE
Somedataaddressedtheadvantagesanddisadvantagesofsolarenergyforthenationasa
wholeandforindividuals.Advantagesofsolarenergyhavereceivedmoreattentionin
surveysthandisadvantages.
Table51displaysfactorsthatmightenterintoasolarpurchasedecisionastheywere
rankedbyalargesampleofhomeseekersusingaforcedchoice4tem.Perceptionsofthe
advantagesanddisadvantagesofsolarenergyoneachoftheseissueshavebeenexplored
inotherstudiesaswell.Thediscussionbelowpresentsfindingsoneachofthesefactors.
InitialPrice
Thecostofasolarsystemwasmentionedinstudiesmostoften asadisadvantage.Cost
canbebrokendownintoseveralcomponents;whenitemspermitted,respondentsoften
madethesedistinctions.Initialpricehasseveralaspects,suchasincreaseddownpayment,
increasedmortgagepayments,problemsgettingloans,etc.AstudyofDenverand
Philadelphiahomeseekersfoundpeoplemoreconcernedaboutincreasesinfirstcostand
mortgagepaymentsthanincreasesindownpaymentandproblemsgettingloans[Scott,
19761.Theproportionmentioningcostasadisadvantageinthisstudywas28.2percent.
Thesesamehomeseekerssaidthatmonthlypaymentsorincreasesininitialcostwerethe
mostimportantfactorstothemincomparingsolartoconventionalhomes.Respondents

inColoradoSprings,Colo.listedinitialcostasthemostimportantfinancialconcern(and
secondmostimportantoverallconcern),followedbyoperatingcosts,maintenancecosts,
andinsuranceratesEl 051.
Tables52and53showthatcostrankedfirstas avolunteereddisadvantageofsolar
energyandasareasongivenfornegativesolarpurchaseintentionsamonghomeowners,
homebuyers,andsmalllocalsamplesofthegeneralpublic.Theproportionmentioning
costvariedfrom31to59percentinthedifferentsamples,andamongthosewhochose
TABLE5-1

PURCHASE DECISION FACTORS

Assumethatyouareconsideringasolarhotwatersystemforyournew
home.Listedbelowareanumberoffactorsthatmightenterintoyour
decisiononwhetherornottopurchasethesystem.Pleaseindicatethe

-FOURcharacteristicsthatwouldbemostimportanttoyouinmakingyour
decisionbyplacinga"1" nexttothemostimportant,a"2" nexttothe

secondmostimportant

....

(RUPI, Inc.,1977)

DecisionFactor
ProportionRanking
1stor2nd
Initialpriceofsystem
Reductionofutilitybills
Reduceddependenceuponutilitycompanies
Repairandupkeepcostofthesystem
Civicdutytohelpconserveenergy
Numberofyearssystemwill last
Desireforacleanerenvironment
Amountof(heat)hotwaterprovided
Increaseintheresalevalue ofthehouse
Nanufacturer'sreputation
Availabilityoffinancingforthe system
Solarcollector'sappearanceontheoutsideofthehouse
TABLE52
VOLUNTEEREDDISADVANTAGESOFSOLARENERGY
Study302~

(N= 270) Rank*

Cost,Initial1
cost (21%)
Climate problems
/~torage,
etc*(14%)3
Solarunits
mightbeugly
(6%)4
Scott, 1976~

(N = 599)
Cost

(28.2%)
Ma in t enance

(10.9%)
Stillexperimental
(6.2%)
Questionreliability
(5.7%)

Obsolescence
(2.2%)
Lack of
confidence (1 %)
~limate/positon
restrictions
(4%)
Appearance
(9*3%)

R-ank
1

3
5

6
9
10
8
4
Study252'Study104~

(N= 388)Kank(N= 400) R ank

Cost (59%) 1Highinitialcost2


Needs moreDesignproblems 3
testing (4%)5
Weather, stor- 2 Needsback up1
age (41%)
Wouldn't produce
enough
heat(3%)6
Takes,uptoo
muchrooin(18%)3
Couldbedangerous
(22)7
TARLE5-2 (continued)
Study302~
(N = 270)

Scott,1976~
Rank(N = 599)
Sawnothing
unattractive
(13%)
Talkedtoowner
(0.3%)
Resalemarket
value(4.2%)
Other (28%)
Study 252= Study 104~

-Rank(N = 388)R-ank (N = 400)

Needstobe
controlledso
itdoesn'tget
toohot(2%)
2Don'tknow,
nothingdis
liked(10%)
a ,, Whatisleastattractiveaboutsolar heatingandcooling?"
b"~hatarethethreemostimportantreasonswhy youwouldnotconsiderbuyingasolarhome?"
'"~ndwhat,ifany,arethethingsyou thinkyouwoulddislikeaboutusing solarenergy
systems

forahome?Whatarethedisadvantages?"
d"~isdtisadvantagesofhomesolarheat

." Nopercentagesprovided.

*Rank istheordinalrankingofthenumberof responsescodedinto eachcategoryfroman


open endedquestion,1= mostresponses,etc.
Rank
TABLE5-3
VOLUNTEERED EXPLANATIONS OF NEGATIVE SOLARPUKCHASE DECISIONSn
,@,
Q&

Study252aStudy117~ Study120' Study20gd

(N = 201)Rank*(N = 4 4 5 ) -Rank(N= 365) Rank(N=210)Rank


CosttoohighTooexpensiveTooexpensive1Costs(30%)1

(77%)1 (37%)1 (82%)


Hasn'tbeen
testedenough
(8%)
Toonew(7%)4
Hasn'tbeen
tested in area
(2%) 7

Noneedforit
(11%)
Don'tknowif
willstayin
houselong
enough ( 10%)
Need moreinformation
(4%)
Properservice
andrepairsnot
yetavailable
(1%)
SituationnotUnnecessary
2critical(5%)6(3%)3
Notfeasible,Housetooold
houseconstruc- (3%)4
tion(12%)3
3
Poorhouse
location(1%)8
NotenoughinforDon' tknowwllat
6mation(24%)2it isorwhat
it involves (6%) 2
Undependable,impractical
(6%)5
Other(18%) 2
Performance
problems,maint
enance, warr
anties(13%)
Toonew (9%)
Like the house
I have now(5%) 5
Don'tknow
enough,need
advicebefore
buying(13%)3
I'mtoooldto
buy a new home
(4%) 6
TABLE53(continued)
Study25Za Study117~ Study120' Study20gd

(N= 201)Rank* (N445)Rank(N= 365)R ank(N

210) Rank

Bills arePoorreturnon
cheapernowinvestment(1%)9
(4%)5
Unsafe(3%)
Climate,weather
(3%)
Backupheat
source needed
(1%)
'"whydoyousay that?"(Asked ofsinglefamilyhomeownerswhoindicatedtheywould
probably
ordefinitelynotbuysolar systems forretrofitattheirestimatedprice.)
b~isrteasonsfornotconsideringuse ofsolarenergy.(Askedofthe generalpublic
whosaid
they hadnotconsideredusingsolarenergy.)
=~easonswhysolar hotwater heaterwouldbedifficulttoadopt. (Asked ofsinglef
amilyhomeowners
whosaidtheyhadnotinstalledasolar waterheaterentiresample).
d"~isrteasonsagainstbuyingasolar home." (Askedofthosesampledhomeownersand
homebuyerswhosaid theypreferredaconventionaltoasolarhome.)
*Rankistheordinalrankingofthenumberofresponsescodedintoeachcategoryfromanopen
endedquestion,1most responses,etc,

nottopurchasesolarenergy,from30to82percentofthesubsamples.Costwas,in all
cases,mentionedmorefrequentlythanotherperceiveddisadvantages.
AstudybyRUPI, Inc.(1977)askedhomeownersandhomebuyersineightU.S. cities
about
perceptionsofsolarheatingandhotwatersystems.Respondentsfelt(byabouttwoto
one)thatthepriceofasolarwaterheatingsystemwouldbetoohigh.Noclearfindings
onexpectationsaboutincreasesinmortgagepayments or downpaymentswerefound.
Moreofthissampletendedtoagreethandisagreethatitwouldbeeasytoobtainfinancing.
Thesefindingsindicatethatfirstcostofasolarsystemisamajordisadvantage
perceivedbyhomeowners.Sincesurveyshavenotaskedpeopleabouttherelative
importance
oftheseveralaspectsofthiscost(downpayment,mortgagepayments,andloan
requirements)itisimpossibletodeterminewhichareperceivedasmostimportant.
ReductionofUmtvBiUs
PerceivedadvantagesofresidentialsolarenergyaresummarizedinTable 54.Scott
(1976)foundhomeseekers(39.4percent)tobeveryconcernedabouttheamountoffuel
savingstheycouldexpectfromasolarheatedandcooledhouse.Theyrankedthisfactor
secondonlytoincreasesininitialhomecostasimportantinjudgingalternativesolarand
conventionalhomes.DatasummarizedinTable54indicatethat76percentofanother
sample[25amentionedcheaperutilitybillsasaperceivedadvantageofsolarenergy
(comparedto59percentmentioningcostasadisadvantage).
Studieswhichaskedaboututilitybillsfoundmostpeopleexpected.theuseofsolarenergy

tolowerthesebillsforthehomeowner.OverhalfoftheSanDiegoCountyhomeowners
sampledbelievedstronglythatwithsolarenergytheirutilitybillswouldbelower[254.
RUPI,Inc.(1977)foundmorethanhalfoftheirsampleagreeingwiththestatement;"A
solarsystemwouldlowermyutilitybillss~bstantially.~T~hemostoftenvolunteered
advantagesinTable54aresavingresources,savingenergy,andcostsavings.These
werementionedby17to31percentofsamples.Inaddition,lowcostwasmentionedby
16percentinmeofthesesamples.Theseadvantagesmayhavebeentiedtoexpected
reducedutilitybills.Reductionofutilitybillswasperceivedbyhomeownersand
homebuyers
infivestudiesasanimportantadvantage.Therearenodataonhowthegeneral
publicviewsthisfactor[209;252;302;Scott,1976;RUPI,Inc.,19773.
RahcdDepemdenceon UtilityCompanies
Reduceddependence,whenofferedasachoicetorespondentsintheRUPIstudy,was
chosenbymanypeopleasanimportantfactorintheirpurchasedecision.Thisadvantage
ofsolarenergysystemswasalsovolunteeredintwoofthefivestudiesrepresentedin
Table54.*MostrespondentsintheRUPI studyagreedthatasolarwaterheatingsystem
wouldprotectthemfromfutureenergyshortages.Suchprotectionandreduced
dependencewereseenasadvantagesofsolarenergysystems.
System Maintenmnce
Scott(1976)foundmaintenance(especiallycosts)tobeofgreatestconcerntopeoplein
decidingtopurchaseasolarhome.ThreestudiesinTables52and 53mentionsystem
*Thisitemcouldhavefallenintothetlothervcategoryoftheremainingthree.
148

maintenanceasaspecifieddisadvantageofsolarsystems.Scottfoundthistobethe
secondmostoftenmentioneddisadvantage,notedby10.9percent.ResponseslikeI1question
reliability,l1l1toonew,"%asnftbeentestedenough," %tille~perirnentala,~nd~%ostI1
couldexpressconcernsaboutmaintenance,performance,andeffectiveness.Maintenance
specificallyandtheuncertaintyofexperimentalsystemsgenerallyseemtobe
commonconcerns.Yet,respondentsintheSanDiegoGasandElectricstudy(1976)
seemedtohaveconfidenceinsolarsystems.Overhalfagreedstronglywithstatements
thatsolarheatingisreliable,rarelybreaksdown,andthatmaintenance issimpleand
relativelyinexpensive.TheRUPIstudyfoundopiniondividedonwhetherrepairand
upkeepcostsforasolarsystemwouldbelow.Apluralityofrespondentsdidnotknow
howtoanswer.Anotheriteminthisstudyaskedpeoplehowlikelytheythoughtitwas
thattheycouldcurrentlyobtainreliableanddependableresidentialsolarwaterheating
systems.Again,responsewasequallydividedbetweenthosewhothoughtitwaslikely
andthosewhothoughtitwasnot.Alargenumberdidnotknow.
OneoftheexplanationsgivenbySanDiegorespondentswhowouldnotbuysolarsystems
wasthatproperserviceandrepairswerenotyetavailable[2521.Aboutonethirdof
respondentsintheRUPIstudyagreedwiththestatement,IIManufacturersofsolar
systemswouldbelittlecompaniesthatwouldbeheretodayandgonetomorr~w.A~b~out
halfdisagreedwiththisstatement.Thisconcernmayalsohavebeenrepresentedinsome

oftheresponsesaboutmaintenance,reliability,andnewnessofsolarsystems.
Ontheotherhand,twoofthefivestudiesinTable54showIflowmaintenanceI1asa
volunteeredadvantageofsolarenergysystems.Thisnotioncouldalsobeincludedin
othergeneralstatementsrespondentsmadeaboutadvantagesoflowcostandhigh
efficiencyinsolarsystems.
Somerespondentsidentifiedmaintenanceasadisadvantageofsolarenergysystems,
whileothersidentifiedeasymaintenanceasanadvantage.Thestudiesdonotpermit a
conclusionaboutwhatportionsofthegeneralpopulationorofhomebuyersholdthese
differentviews.
CivicDutyto HelpCorrserve
Althoughthisitem,whenpresentedtorespondentsintheRUPIstudy,wasselectedasan
importantfactor,itwasnotvolunteeredasanadvantageinthestudieslistedinTable54.Probablysuchgeneralresponsesas"savesresources,?I"fuelsavings,"andllsaves
energyvcouldincludecivicaswellaseconomicconcerns.
Numberof YeamSystem Will Last
AlthoughRUPIfoundconcernforsystemlifetimementionedlessoftenthanothercost
considerations,Scottfoundhomebuyersmoreconcernedabouttheexpectedlifeofa
systemthanitscostandeffectsontheirpayments.Shortsystemlifewasnotavolunteered
disadvantage,norwaslongsystemlifevolunteeredasanadvantage,as seenin
Tables52and54.Suchconcerns,again,couldbeincludedinresponseslistingthe
untestedandexperimentalnatureofsolarpowerasadisadvantage.MostSanDiego
homeownersagreedthatsystemswouldlastalongtime[2521,andmostrespondentsin
theRUPIstudyfeltsolarsystemswouldlastaslongasanyothersystem.
Althoughsystemlifeisaconcerntopeoplewhenmakingapurchasedecision,itisnot
clearfromtheexistingdatawhethersolarenergyisperceivedtohavetheadvantageor
not.
VOLUNTEEREDADVANTAGES OF SOLAR

Scott, 1976~
(N = 533)
Study 104~
Rank(NS400) Rank
Study302~
(N = 270)
Study252'
Rank*Ra nlc(N = 392)
Saves resources

(17%)
Fuel savings
(39.4%)
Savesenergy

(31%)
No pollution
(12%)

Ecology (30%) Clean, no pollution,


good
for enviroment
(46%)
Environmentally
sound
Cleanheat(3.9%)
w

Cn
0

Low cost (16%)

Cheaper
utility bills
(76%)
Efficient, Economical
practical (3.4%)
Always available
(22%)
Sunlight avail-

4 able

Depend less on
utilities (8X)
Low maintenance
cost (8%)
Safer, no radiation
or gas
fumes (10%)
Nothing good
about it at all
(3.3%) 5
Comfort (0.9%)
TARLE 5-4 (continued)
Study30za S c o t t , 1976~

(N= 270) Rank(N = 533)R ank


Study252' Study104~

(N= 392)Rank(N= 400) Rank


Safer5
Other(7X) 4 Other(22.3%)3
anwhatismostattractiveaboutsolarenexgy use?" (generalpublic)
br'~hatarethe threemostimportantreasonswhyyouwouldconsiderbuying asolar
home?"(homeowners)
C"What,ifany,arethethingsyou thinkyouwouldlike about solarenergysystemsfora
home?
Thatis,whatwouldyousay itsadvantagesare?"(singlefamilyhomeowners)
d~isatdvantagesforhomesolarheat(residentsofColoradoSprings,Colorado).No
percentages

given.
*Rankistheordinalrankingofthenumberofresponsescoded intoeachcategoryfromanopen
endedquestion,1= mostresponses,etc.

DesireforaCleanerEnvironment
ThisconcernwasnotofferedtorespondentsintheScottstudyforcommentaboutits
importanceinapurchasedecision,butrespondentsdidlistitsecondonlytofuelsavings
asamajuradvantageofsolarenergy.FourofthefivestudiesinTable 54foundpeople
volunteering"nopollution,""cleanheat,"orffenvironmentallysoundtTasanimportant
advantageofsolarheat.NearlyeveryrespondentintheSanDiegostudyagreedstrongly
thatsolarenergyisacleanandnonpollutingsourceofenergy[251.Anationalstudyin
1977foundamajoritybelievingsolarenergytobeacleanand nonpollutingsourceof
energy(77percent)12283.Threequartersoftherespondentsinanotherstudyfeltthat
solarheatwouldcontributetoacleanerenvironment[Scott,19761.
Itisnotclearwhateffectthisadvantagehasonpurchasedecisions,butthe"clean"
aspectofsolarenergywasan advantagementionedbyfourto46percentofsamples,and
wasrankedasthetopadvantageinonestudy[log.
Amountof HeatandHotWaterProvided
Thisfactorisrelatedtofuelsavingsand performanceconcerns.SanDiegorespondents
(threepercent)weretheonlyoneswhomentionedthisspecificdisadvantageofsolar
energy12521

. Worriesaboutrequiredbackupsystems,storage,andclimaticproblems

couldberelatedtothisperceivedproblem.RUPI drewdisagreementfromhalftheir
samplewithastatementthatasolarhotwaterheatingsystemwouldnotprovideenough
heattobeworthwhile.Asizableminoritydidnotknowhowtorespond.
Performancewasidentifiedasimportanttothepurchasedecisionandlowoutputwas
seenasadisadvantageofsolarsystemsbyafewrespondents.
IncreaseintheResaleValueoftheHouse
Scottfoundconcernabouttheeffectofasolarheatingsystemontheresalevalueof
homes(mentionedbyaboutfourpercentofthesample).Poorreturnoninvestmentwas
mentionedinonestudybyonepercent11171(seeTable53).
Otherstudiesindicatethatmostpeoplebelievedsolarsystemswouldincreasethevalue
oftheirhome.Higherhomeresalevaluewasan advantagevolunteeredbyafew
respondents
inoneofthefivestudiesinTable54.Scott(1976)foundmorethanhalfagreeing
thatinstallingasolarsystemwouldincreasetheresalevalueoftheirhomes.About
threefourthsofthosesampledinColoradoSpringsandSanDiegofeltthathavingsolar
energywouldincreasethevalueoftheirhouse[252,104.Ownersofsolarhotwater
heatersinSanDiegotoldMarylanderMarketing(1976)thattheybelievedthevalueof
theirhomeswasincreasedbythesystems.
Thesestudiespresentmixedresultsastohowimportantresalevaluechangesareto
purchasedecisions,withtheweightoftheevidencesomewhatonthesideofperceived
relativeadvantageinresalevalue.Forsome,atleast,increasedresalevalue isan

expectedadvantageofsolarenergy.
SolarCollectortsAmearanceon OutsideofHouse
SixpercentofrespondentsinastudybyTRW inPhoenix,KansasCity,andMinneapolis
volunteeredappearanceasamajordisadvantageofsolarsystems[302].Althollghother
studieshavenotfoundthisdisadvantagesuggested,RUP1foundthatpeopledisagreed
twotoonewithastatementthatsolarcollectorswouldbeanattractiveadditiontotheir
homes.Scottfoundthatpeopleweremoreconcernedabouttheappearanceofasystem
onthehome(9.3percentofthesample)thantheywereaboutproblemswithgettinga
loantobuyit.MostselfselectedvisitorstoaColoradoSpringssolarhomesaidthey
likedeverythingaboutitsappearancethatwasquestioned(CityofColoradoSprings,
1974).Anationalstudyin1974foundthatover60percentfeltasolarenergyunitmade
nodifferenceintheoverallappearanceofabuilding,whileaboutathirdsaidthesohr
unitwasunattractive[14%AstudyofNebraskafarmerswhoviewedaphotovoltaic
imigationdemonstrationfoundrdspondentsunwillingtoagreeordisagreethatthesystem
wasvisuallyunattractive[Lilien,19771.Thisresponsewasthesamebeforeandafter
viewingthedisplay.Thesefarmersthoughtcombustionpowered andelectricsystems
werelessunattractive,buttherewasnoindicationofhowimportantfarmersfeltthis
featuretobe.
Theappearanceofsolarcollectorsandothersolardeviceswasnotconsideredpleasingby
minoritiesintwostudies,andamajorityinone.Solarsystemswereconsideredattractive
bymajoritiesintwostudies.Thesefindingsaretooinconsistenttopermitconclusions,
exceptthatforsome,aestheticfeaturesofsolarsystemsmaybeconsidered
advantageous,whileforotherstheymaybedisadvantageous.
OtherFactors
OneadvantageofsolarenergyvolunteeredintheCampbellstudywasthat itwasinnovative
[209, Table5-41. Indeed,MarylanderMarketing(1977)foundthatmanyownersof
solarsystemslikedbeingthoughtofaspioneersbytheirneighborsandfriends.Thismay
beanimportantadvantageofsolarsystemstothosewhoactuallymakepurchase
decisions.Theotherstudiesconsideredhererepresenttheopinionsofhomeowners and
homebuyers,notactualadoptersofsolarsystems.Someeffortwasmadetodetermine
howpeoplewouldfeelaboutthereactionsofotherstotheirpurchaseofasolarsystem.
Scottfoundpeoplesayingtheywouldhaveverylittleconcernovertheopinionsoffriends
andneighborsindecidingtobuyasolarsystem.RUPIdidnotaskabouttheimportance
ofothers1opinions;instead,statementswerepresentedandrespondentsaskedifafriend
noticingtheirnewsolarcollectorwouldbelikelytomakesuchastatement.Most
respondentsexpectedneighborstocommentthatsolarsystemswouldincreasetheir
propertyvalue,savethemmoney,andshowtheywereenvironmentallyresponsible.Most
peopleexpectedfriendstosaythingslike,"Itlookslikeagoodidea,butonlytimewill
tell,ttand"InafewyearsI'llbeabletogetabettersystematalowerprice.t1People
wereequallydividedoverwhetherafriendwouldsay,"Boy, isthatugly.'lThese
respondentsprobablytendedtoexpectfriendstorespondthewaytheyactuallydidto
solarenergy.

ComfortwasanadvantageofsolarenergymentionedbyonepercentintheScott(1976)
study.Thisissuewasnotmentionedintheotherstudies.Forpeoplewhostatedthat
theywouldnotconsiderasolarsystem,thefeelingthatitwasunnecessarywasexpressed
bythreeto11percent(seeTable5-3).* Unsuitabilityofpresenthomeandunwillingness
tomakeachangewerealsomentioned.
Insummary,whiletheperceivedcostofsolarenergywasmentionedmostfrequentlyasa
disadvantageofsolarsystems(byupto82percentofsamples),savingsinfuelandcosts
werementionedmostfrequentlyasanadvantage(byupto76percentofsamples).Other
perceivedadvantagesofsolarenergyidentifiedinthesestudieswere:(1)environmentally
desirable,(2)aestheticallypleasing,(3)plentiful,(4)decreaseddependenceon
utilities,(5)savingresources,(6)safe,and(7)higherresalevalueofhomes.Other
perceived
disadvantageswere:(1)maintenancecostand reliability,performance,(2)climate
problems,(3)storage,(4)aestheticallydispleasing,(5)lowerresalevalueofhomes,
and(6)dangerous.
KNOWLEDGEAND INFORMATIONSOURCIS
Afrequentlymentionedexplanationgivenbypeoplewhosaidtheywouldnotconsider
buyingasolarsystemwasthattheydidnotknowenoughaboutitorneededmore
information,
mentionedbyfourto24percentofsamples[117,120,209,254.Ontheother
hand,afew(0.3percent)saidtheywouldnotconsiderasolarsystembecausetheyhad
talkedtoanownerofsuchasystem(Scott,1976).Informationcouldaffectpurchase
decisionspositivelyornegatively.Theevidencefromthesestudiessuggeststhatpersons
neededmoreinformationaboutsolarenergybeforetheycouldmakeadecisionaboutit.
AnationalstudyinMay1974foundninepercentofrespondentshadseen,inperson,a
"unitthattransformedheatfromthesunintoenergy."About42percentsaidtheyhad
neverseensuchaunit[142].RUPI,Inc.(1977)foundthattwothirdsoftheirsampleof
homeownersandhomebuyershadneverseenahousewithsolarcollectorsontheroofor
intheyard.Aboutthesamenumber,however,saidtheyhadreadarticlesaboutit.The
Scottstudy(1976)alsofoundabouttwothirdsoftheirhomeseekerrespondentssaying
theyhadreadsomeartidesand/orothermaterialaboutsolarenergy.
Inanationalsample,83percentsaidtheyhadheardsomethingaboutplanstousesolar
energytoheatbuildings;fewerhadheardofusingsolarenergytocoolbuildings[142l.A
studyofattitudestowardwindenergyconductedinfivepartsofthecountryfound
threequarters
ofthesamplehadheardsomethingaboutusingsolarenergytogenerateelectricity
andalittleoverhalfhadheardofusingwindenergythisway[303].
Majoritiesintwospecialstudiesandonenationalsurveyhadheardsomethingabout
using
solarenergyforspaceheatingandforgeneratingelectricity.Otherusesappeartobe
lesswidelyknown.Evenamongthegroupconsideredthemostlikelytousesolar

energy,**awarenessofotheruseswaslowerthanforspaceheating.Inonestudy,these
peoplewereaskedtolistotherwayssolar energycanbeused.Abouthalflistedwater
heating,slightlyfewermentionedcoolingandpoolheating.Aboutonefourthmentioned
runningelectricappliances[252].
Mostrespondentsintwostudiestendedtounderestimatetheactualcostofsolar
heating.Anationalstudyin1974foundoverhalfofrespondentsguessingacostofless
than$3,500toequipanaveragehomeforhotwaterandspaceheating. Athirdanswered
*ThisresponsewouldagreewithfindingsinChapter3aboutbeliefintheenergycrisis.
**Homeseekem,homeowners,andpotentialhomebuyers.
correctlythatthecostwouldbebetween$3,500and$10,000.Another15percent
thoughtitwouldcostover$10,000[14fl.AsurveyofSanDiegohomeownersshowed
aboutfivepercentcorrectlyguessedthecostofinstallingsolarhotwaterandspace
heatingintheirhomes.Mostpeopleguessedlow12521.
Theproportionofrespondentswhoknewaboutotheraspectsofsolarenergywasalsolow
comparedtothosewhosaidtheywillconsiderbuyingit.InDenver, 92percentofcitizens
sampledcoulddefine"solarenergy"butlessthan16percentknewaboutlifecycle
costing,degreedays,retrofitting,energycostofownership,orsunshinerightsofway
11 201

Onlyonestudyaskedpeopletodefinewhatinformationtheywouldliketohavebefore
makingadecisiontobuyasolarheatedandcooledhome.IntheScottstudy(1976)most
answerstothisquestionwerecategorizedasl1otherU(35percent).Thismakesinterpretation
ofthelistedresponsesdifficult.Table55liststheseresponsesinrankorder.
ThesearesimilartothepurchasedecisionfactorsmentionedinTable51.Information
aboutcostandreliabilitywasfrequentlymentionedinthisstudy.
IntheSanDiegostudy,homeownerswereaskedfromwhomtheywouldseekinformation
onsolarenergy.Morethanhalfsaidtheywouldgotofederalenergyagenciesfirst.The
localutility*waschosenasthesecondplacetogo.Localheatingandairconditioning
contractorswerechosennext,followedbyplumbingcontractors.Ofthepeoplewho
listedT'otheruplaces(justunderhalf),lessthan10percentsaidtheywouldgoto"a
companythat'specializesrinsolarenergy,"indicatingafairlylowlevelofpreference
(possiblybecauseoflowawareness)forsuchcompanies,ascomparedtopublicentities
andlocalheatingandplumbingcontractors[25a.
CONCERNABOUTRISK
Thisissuewasaddressedinthreestudies.MosthomeownerssampledinSanDiegobelieved
solarenergytobeasafeandunlimitedsource[%a.TwostudiesinTable52
foundminoritiesmentioning"unsafeTTor%auldbedangerous"asadisadvantage.Some
peoplewereexplicit:theysaidsolarheating"needstobecontrolledsoitdoesn'tgettoo

hot."Somerespondentsinthissamestudylisted%afernasanadvantage,mostlikelyan
implicitcomparisontoconventionalsystems.Thesedatadonotindicatewhetherthe
safetyofsolarenergyisperceivedasanadvantageoradisadvantage.
Otheraspectsofconcernaboutriskwerediscussedinprecedingsectionsontherelative

advantageofsolarenergy.Questionsofreliabilityandmaintenanceexpressconcern
abouttheindividualrisksInvolvedinadoptingasystem.Convictionthatsolarenergyuse
iscleanandnonpollutingistheinverseofsuchconcernfromanenvironmentalperspective.
Eachofthesewerementionedinresponsetoopenendeditemsinseveralofthe
studiesreviewed.
BEHAVIORALINTENTIONAND ACTION
Threesurveysinthisreviewaskedpeopleiftheyusedsolarenergyintheirhomes[209,

Roper,19791.Thesesurveysshowedthat,nationwide,fewpeoplehadactuallyinstalled
solarheating.Roper(1979)usedtheitem:
*SanDiegoGasandElectricCompany.
TABLE5-5

HOMESEEKERS' DESIRED INFORt4ATIONABOUTSOLARENERGY


What informationwouldyouliketohave before makinga decision tobuy
a solarheatedandcooledhome?(Scott,1976)

InformationNeeded-% -Rank*
Other**
Initialcost
Maintenance
Longevity
Reliability
Fuelcostsavings
Performance
Warranty
See a solar home
Alternatives
Cordort
*Rank istheordinalrankingofthenumberofresponsescodedintoeach
categoryfromanopenendedquestion,1= most responses,etc.
**"Othermresponses notdefined.

Herearesomefairlynewthingsthatnottoomanypeoplehave.[Card
shownrespondent,listing:(a)microwaveoven;(b)videotaperecorder;(c)
solarpoweredheatingunit(toprovideeitherheatorhotwater); (d)
refrigeratorthatkeepsmakingiceautomaticallywithoutyourhavingtofill
thetrays;(e) electricfoodprocessor(slices,chopsvegetables,etc.].
Whichofthesethings,ifany,doyouhappentoown?"Fewerthan0.5percentofthe
samplerespondedthattheyownedasolarheatingsysteminJanuary1979,withno
measurablechangesinceJanuary1978whenearlierdataonthisitemwerecollected.In
examiningthecrosstabulationsonthisitem,however,thefollowingpatternsofsolar
ownershipemerged*:
Onepercentofthesampleaged1829andonepercentofthose3044owned
systems.Thus,approximatelyonepercentoftheyoungeradultagecategories
(1844)alreadyownsolarsystems.
AboutonepercentofthoseintheNortheastandonepercentintheWestowned

solarsystems,comparedtolessthan0.5percentintheMidwestandSouth.
Onepercentofthoseinthemostruralcounties(minormarketswithpopulations
under35,000)reportedowningsystems,withlessthan0.5percentofthosein
morepopulatedgeographicareas(includingmajormarkets)reportingsolar
ownership.
Ofthefourincomecategories,noneshowedmorethan0.5percentsolarownership
exceptthoseearning$7,000to$15,000ayear,onepercentofwhom
reportedowningasolarsystem.
Onepercentofthosewithanycollegeeducationweresolarownerscomparedto
lessthan0.5percentofallothereducationalcategories.
Foroccupationalcategories,onepercentofexecutive/professionalworkers
reportedsolarownershipasdidonepercentofbluecollarworkers.Lessthan0.5
percentofwhitecollarworkersreportedownership.
Republicansreportedonepercentsolarownership;DemocratsandIndependents
reportedlessthan0.5percent.
Onepercentofpoliticalliberalsreportedsolarownershipcomparedtolessthan
0.5percentofconservativesandmoderates.
Politicalandsocialactivists(~opecrharacterizestheserespondentsas"thought
leadersn)reportedtwopercentsolarownership.
*Demographiccategorieswereasfollows:(a)Age:1829,3044, 4559,60+;(b)Income:
$7K,$715K,$l525K,l$25K;(c) Geographicarea:NE,MW,SO,WST; (d)Education:any
college,highschoolgraduate,nonhighschoolgraduate;(e) Occupation:
executive/professional,whitecollar,bluecollar;(f)Religion:Protestant,Catholic;(g)
Politicalaffiliation:Democratic,Republican,Independent; (h)Politicalphilosophy:
conservative,moderate,liberal;(i)Marketsize:Major(allcountiescomprisingthe 25
largestmetropolitanareas);Medium(allcountrieshavingapopulationof35,000+andall
countiesthateitherhaveapopulationof150,000ormorebutarenotpartofmajor
marketsorformpartofametropolitanareahavinganaggregatepopulationof150,000or
more);~ho(rallremainingcountiesinthecountry).
a Familieswithchildren1318yearsofagereportedonepercentownership,with
lessthan0.5percentownershipbyfamilieswithchildrenunder13yearsofage.
Onepercentoftheemployedfemalescategory(includingbothfulltimeandparttime
workers)reportedsolarownership.
Nodifferenceinsolarownershipwasfoundbythefollowingcharacteristics:
gender,race,religion,unionmembership,andonetotwopersonfamilies.All
thesecategoriesreportedlessthan0.5percentownership.
Althoughinterpretationoftheseresults,whichwerebasedoncrosstabulations,must
remainspeculative,theyseemtoshowthattherearecurrentlymorethantwotypesof
solarusersinthecountry.Thisisduetothefactthatdemographiccharacteristics
correlatedinknownways,andthepatternsofsolarownershippartiallyviolatethese
knowncorrelations.Forexample,onepercentofbothRepublicansandpoliticalliberals
reportedsystemownership,yetthesecategoriesaretoanextentmutuallyexclusive.

Similarly,executivesandbluecollarworkersaremutuallyexclusiveoccupational categories.
Whatthedatamightmeanisthatpresentsolarownerscomefromseveralwalksoflife.
Onegroupcouldbetheuppermiddleclassexecutiveorprofessionalfamily,perhaps
Republicaninpartyaffiliation;anothercouldbealiberal,young,middleincomegroup;
yetanothermightberuralinresidenceandperhapsbluecollar inoccupation.Solar
ownershipbyopinionleaders(asmeasuredbypoliticalandsocialactivism)isprobably
distributedamongthesekindsofsolarusers.
Study209estimatedthat0.01percentofcurrenthomeshavesolarsystems.TheDomestic
PolicyReviewCommitteeestimatedthatthereare40,000solarhomesintheUnited
States.*StatisticalAbstractsoftheUnitedStates(1977)reports 80millionhousing
units.Ifthisfigureisusedasabase,thereareabout0.05percentsolarhomes,or
aboutonesolarhomeforevery2,000homes.
AGalluppoll[2191queriedrespondentsabouttheirinterestinusing asolarenergysystem
forheatingtheirhomes.Aboutonefourthsaidtheyweredefinitelyinterested.
Nearlyhalfsaidtheyprobablyordefinitelywerenotinterested.Onlyonenational
surveyaddressedactionregardingsolarenergysoitisdifficulttoassessactualnumbers
ofsolarusers.
Fourstudiesaskedaboutbehavioralintentionconcerningsolarenergy.Roper(1979)
askedaboutsolarbuyingplansaswell assolarownership.Immediatelyfollowingthe
questionquotedearlier,thefollowingwasalsoasked:"Ofcourse, all ofthosethingsare
fairlyexpensive,butwhichofthem,ifany,doyouthinkyoumightbuyinthenexttwoor
threeyears?"Sixpercentofthesampleindicatedpossiblebuyingplansforthesolar
heatingunit,comparedtofivepercentoneyearearlier,inJanuary1978.The
demographiccharacteristicsofthosewhomightbuysolarsystemsaresummarizedin
Table56.
InanArizonacitizensurvey,nearly45percentstronglyagreedwiththestatement"1
wouldliveinasolarhome."Another35percentagreedandlessthan10percentdisagreed
[201].ADenverstudyofhomeowners,however,foundlessthanonefifthsaying
*

>

StatusReportonSolarEnergyDomesticPolicyReviewDepartmentofEnergy,

TABLE5-6

PLANS TO INVEST IN SOLAR SYSTEMS IN THE NEXT TWO TO THREE YEARS


BY DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
-. -

Here are some fairly new things that not too many people have. [ Card shown respondent,

listing: (a) microwave oven; (b) video tape recorder (for taping things off Tv); (c) solar
powered heating unit (to provide either heat or hot water); (d)refrigerator that keeps
making ice automatically without your having to fill the trays; (e) electric food processor
(slices, chops vegetables, etcwhich of them,
Demographic
Characteristic
Gender
Income
Race
Geographic
Market size
Education

1. Of course, all of these things are fairly expensive, but

Occupation
Religion
Political
affiliation
Political
philosophy
Families
Opinion
leaders
Union
members
Employed
f enales
if any,do you think you might buy in the next two or three years? (Roper, 1979).
Proportion Iadicatinq They Might Buy
Male, 7%
18-19, 19
<$7K, 5
White, 17
NE, 11
Major, 1
Any college, 20
Exec/Prof., 21
Prot., 21
Dem., 14
Cons., 17
Children (13, 19
MW, 17
Medium, 17, 18
H.S. grad., 18
Whte coll., 23

, 19
Modr., 13
Children, 13-18, 17
Female, 5
45-59, 16 60+, 5
15-25K, 20 >25K, 25
Black, 5
SO, 15 WST, 21
Minor, 10
<H.S.grad., 8
Blue coll., 16
Cath., 14
Ind., 17
Rep-

Libl. , 17
1-2 person, 12

theywouldconsiderinstallingasolarhotwaterheater[120],andtheRUPIhomeowner
samplecontainedlessthantwopercentwhosaidtheyhaddecidedtoinstallsolarequip
ment.
ManySanDiegohomeownersexpressedintentionsofbuyingsolarsystemsfornewhomes
(59percent)andasretrofittoexistinghomes(21percent);however,thesepeoplesaid
theywouldprobablybuyattheirestimatedprice.Evidencedescribedearliersuggests
thatmanyunderestimatetheactualcostofsolarsystems,andthatcostisamajorpurchase
decisionfactor.Itispossiblethat,knowingtheactualpriceofsolarsystems,
fewerpeoplemightsaytheywerewillingtobuy.
MarylanderMarketing(1976)askedpeoplewhohadboughtsolarwaterheaterswhythey
haddoneso.Themostfrequentlymentionedreasonwastosaveonfuel,althoughmost
peoplehadnotperformed sophisticatedfinancialanalysesbeforepurchase.Theybelieved
therewouldbeasavingsandthefirstcost"seemedreasonable"sotheymadea

purchase.
People'sintendedactions,givenvariouscostscenarios,wereinvestigatedinthreestudies.
Majoritiesindicatedtheywouldconsidersolarenergyifthepricewereequalto
thatofothersystems302,3061.
InTable57,dataarepresentedonresponsetosolarsystemsifcostwerethesameasfor
otherunits.Homeseekersinthesesamplesappearedtobemorewillingtoconsiderthe
ideaofsolarsystemsthanthegeneralpublicinthelocalsurveysreportedabove.Overa
thirdindicatedtheywouldlkonsiderseriouslyT1and34percent"wouldconsider"asolar
systemifthecostwerethesame[30a; 53percentwouldconsideritinanotherstudy
D04;83percentinanother(Scott,1976).
Fivestudiesexaminedconsumersensitivitytopriceincreasesanddecreases.Whensolar
energywas'saidtocostanunspecifiedamountmorethanotherenergy,thenumberof
peoplesayingtheywouldconsiderandseriouslyconsidersolarsystemsdropped24
percentagepointsfromfavorabilityatequalcost[3Oa.TheCampbelletal.(1977)study
ofcitizensinseveralpartsofthecountryalsofoundthepercentagewillingtoconsider
solarheatingdropped24pointswhenunitsweresaidtocost$20morepermonthrather
thanthesameasothersystems[209].Inbothstudiesaround40percentsaidtheywould
considersolarsystemsevenatthehigherprice.Gottlieb(1974),inastudyoftheresidents
ofpartsofTexasandColorado,foundthatnearlyhalfofrespondents (47percent)
agreedoragreedstronglywiththestatement:"1 wouldpayformorecostlysolarenergy
todecreasedemandfornewsourcesofpetrole~m[1~0~6].Thesedataseemtoindicatea
substantialminoritywhosaytheywouldconsidersolarenergyevenatsomewhathigher
pricesthanthealternatives,perhapsbecauseofperceivednonmonetaryadvantagesof
savingresourcesandreducingpollution.
TheCampbellstudyshowedlesscitizensensitivitytodecreasesinthecostofsolar
energy.Whensolarenergywassaidtocost$20dollarslesspermonth,thosesayingthey
wouldconsideritrose11percent.Tospeculate,thismaybeduetothefactthatthose
whosaidtheywouldnotconsidersolarenergyatequalcostwereveryconcernedabout
thedisadvantagesanddidnotconsiderlifecyclecostsaslikelytruecosts.Asnoted,
performance,maintenance,andclimateproblemsmaycontributetotheperceived%skinessn
ofinvestinginsolarsystems.IntheCampbellstudy,homeownerswereaskedif
theyfeltsolarheatingwascurrentlytoonewandexperimentaltoriskbuyingit.Over
halfthoughtitwasandabout40percentthoughtitwasnot.Ofthosewhothoughtitwas
toorisky,halfsaidtheywouldpurchasesolarsystemsiflifecyclecostswereequal.To
TABLE5-7

REACTION TO SOLAR ENERGYSYSTEMSIF THE COST IS THE SAME


ProportionResponding
CitizensHomeseekers
ReactionStudy302~ Study104~ Scott(1976)'
Wouldconsider

--

seriously35%
18
Wouldconsider345365

WouldnotconsiderI1 356
Don'tknow201211
a~fasolarwaterheatercostthe sameasotherunitswould you
considerbuyingone?(Citizens ofKansasCity,Phoenix,Minneapolis)
b~ssumingthecostis equal,wouldyouchoosethe wayyourhome is
presentlyheated,orwouldyouchoosesolar?(Citizens of
ColoradoSprings)
'Howstronglywouldyouconsiderbuyingasolarheatedandcooled home
foryournexthomeiffuelsavingsexactlymatchedtheincreased
mortgagecostsattoday'sfuelprice?(~omeseekersofDenverand
Philadelphia)
d~otaolf"wouldconsider"and"wouldconsiderseriously."

speculate,acertainamountofpersonaldiscountingoflifecyclecostfiguresmaybe
operatinginresponsesregardingpurchasedecisions,givencertaincosts,justasperceived
nonmonetarybenefitsofsolarenergymaybeoperatinginstatedpurchaseintentions.
TheScottstudyaskedindetailaboutfuelsavingsandmortgagepaymentsinconnection
withsolarsystems.Theresultsseemtobecontradictory.Respondentswereaskedhow
muchinaveragemonthlyfuelbillsasystemwouldhavetosave,givenanincreased
monthlymortgagepayment,forthemtoconsiderchoosingit.Onefourthsaidthey
wouldhavetosaveasmuchonfuelastheincreaseinthemortgagepayment.Overonethird
saidtheywouldhavetosavemorethantheincreasedmortgagepaymenttoconsider
asolarsystem.Whenaskediftheywouldspendanextra$1,000onreducingtheir
mortgagepaymentsoronreducingfuelbills,threeoutoffoursaidtheywouldinvestin
fuelsavingsandoneoutoffourchosereducingmortgagepayments.Tospeculate,this
couldmeanthatpeoplevaluereducingfuelbillsmorethanreducingtheircurrentmortgage
levelbutfindincreasedmortgagepaymentsmoreofadisadvantagethanfuelsavings
areanadvantageperdollar.
People'swillingnesstomakeotherthanmonetarysacrificestohavesolarenergyhas
beeninvestigatedintwostudies.OverhalfthesampledresidentsofLansing,Michigan,
saidtheywouldgiveuplivingspacetoinstallasolarheatingandcoolingsystemintheir
houses[106].TheScottstudy,however,foundsmallerroomstobetheleastacceptable
requirementofasolarheatingandcoolingsystem.Schedulechangesrequiredbysolar
hotwaterheaterswereacceptabletoabouthalfoftheresidentssampledinMinneapolis
andPhoenix[302].
EVALUATION
Publicattitudestowardtheideaofsolarenergycanonlybedescribedaspositive.Solar
energywasapreferredsourceforproductionofelectricityforover 90percentinlocal
studies[3031.HomeownersinSanDiegoratedsolarenergyasanexcellentidea [251.
HomeseekersinDenverandPhiladelphiafoundsolarsystemsappealingoverall,even
consideringfirstcosts,performance,fuelsavings,appearance,etc.(RUPI,Inc.,1977).
Rentersinseveralcitiesfavoredsolarheatingofhomes(85percent)[209].Although
onlyonestudyaddressedattitudestowardwindmills,amajorityfeltitwasa"good"idea
tousethemtogenerateelectricity[303].
Thispositiveattitudeisexpressedwhenpeopleareaskedaboutexpandingeffortsinsolar

technology.InJune1978,94percentofasampleindicatedtheywouldliketosee"work
onsolarenergyexpandedv(AtomicIndustrialForum,Inc.,1978).InFebruary1977the
mostpopularsteptowarddevelopingnewsourceswas:"Setupagovernmentprogramto

developsolarenergyn11531 Anothernationalstudyatthesametimeaskedpeopleabout
theimportanceofvariousstepstoincreaseenergysupply.Again,"expandingworkon
solarenergyvwasconsideredveryimportantbymorepeoplethananyotherstep(69
percent)[245].In1974alargemajority(86percent)thoughtthatequippingpublicbuildings
withunitsthat"transformtheheatfromthesun intoenergyforheatingandcooling1f
wasagoodidea[142].Arizonacitizensin1976favoredputtingmoremoneyinto
developmentofsolarenergy80tosix percent[201].Infourlocalstudiesandthree
nationalstudies,majorityfavorabilitytosolarenergywasexpressed.
PolicyPreferences
Mostcitizens
taxincentives
ofcitizensin
financialpro
Governmentincentivesforsolarenergywerefavoredinseveralsamples.
surveyedinastudybyTRW saidtheysupportedorprobablywouldsupport
toencouragetheuseofsolarheatingandcooling[302].Anotherstudy
severalcitiesfoundthreeoutoffourpeoplesayingtheyfavoredfederal
gramstohelpinstallsolarunits[209].AbouthalfoftheArizonacitizensamplefavored
taxincentivesforsolarenergydevelopmentanduse[201].*ARoperpollinNovember
1977foundthattaxdeductionsforhomeownersand businesseswhoaddinsulation,better
heatingsystemsorsolarpowerwasfavoredbymorepeople(73percent)thananyofthe
otherlistedstepstoconserve11473.InDecemberofthesameyear,favorabilitytowarda
specificproposalforataxcreditofupto$2,150formoneyspentoninstallingsolar
energyequipmentalonewasfavoredby69percent12431.Threeoutoffourhomeseekers
interviewedbyScott(1976)agreedthatthefederalgovernmentshouldchangethetax
lawsand/orprovidesomeformofincentivetothehomebuyertoencouragethepurchase
ofsolarhomes.Inall,sixstudiesindicatedstrongcitizensupportfortaxincentivesto
promotesolarenergyuse.
Probableresponsetosuchincentiveswasexaminedinafewstudies,whichincludeditems
askingpeopleiftheywouldinvestinsolarsystemsatvaryinglevelsofincentive.They
alsoaskedwhichtypesofincentiveswerepreferred.Thesefindingsarediscussedbelow,
organizedaroundthreetypesofincentives:taxcredits,lowinterestloans,andleasing
schemes.
Tax Credit.Onenationalsurveyaskedrespondentswhichofalistofchangestheywould
maketotheirhomesiftherewereanincometaxcredit.Fivepercentsaidtheywouldbe
likelytoinstallsolarheatingequipment[164.
BoththeScottandRUPI surveysofhomeseekersfoundanimmediatetaxcredittobethe
preferredincentivewhendollaramountswereequal.Taxdeductionsstretchingover

timewerelessfavored,butslightlymorepopularthanlowinterestloans.
IntheRUPI study,respondentswereaskediftheywouldliketodothepaperworkforthe
federalgovernmentandreceivethetaxcreditthemselvesorhavethebuilderorinstaller
oftheequipmentsubmitthepapersandcredittherebatetothepurchaseprice.Over
twothirdspreferredthe"selfreceivedrebate."
LowInterestLcrurs. RespondentsintheRUPI studyansweredtwotoonethatthey
would
bemorelikelytousealowinterestloanifitwereavailablethrough abankthanifit
wereavailablethroughagovernmentagency;toonethirdofthepeopleitmadeno
difference.Anequalnumberofpeoplesaidtheypreferredtoincludethesolarloanin
theirmortgageassaidtheypreferredtohaveaseparateloanonsolarequipment.About
onefifthhadnopreferenceforeitherplan.
*Overonethirdofthatsamplewerenotsureofhowtorespond.Thiscouldbeduetothe
questionwordingwhichrequireddisagreementtoshowfavorabilitytowardtaxcredits
120 11.
163
Leasing.LeasingwasanoptiondiscussedintheRUPI study;itwastheleastappealingto
respondentsoffourgeneralapproachesmentioned.RUPIaskedrespondentsifthey
wouldprefertoleaseanentiresystemfromautilitycompanywiththepossibilityof
buyingitinthefuture,ortopurchaseandownthesystemthemselves.Morepeoplehad
apreferencethaninotherquestions,andowningasystemwaspreferredtwotooneover
leasingone.
REGIONALDIPFERENCES
Solarenergyisasupplyoptionfavoredbynationalmajorities.Twonationalsurveys
includedquestionsaboutsolarenergyandperformedregionaltabulations.Theyshowed
thattheWestwasmoreinclinedtoviewsolarenergyasalongtermsourceandtheSouth
waslessinclined[152l.PeopleintheSouthwerealsomuchlesslikelythan therestof
thenationtoseedevelopmentofsolarenergyasanimportantsteptosolvetheenergy
crisis[1411.Informationfromthefewstudieswhichsampledmorethanoneregionand
fromcomparisonoflocalfindingssupportsthisresult.
Roper(1979)reportedsolarownershipbyonepercentofWesternandonepercentof
Northeasternrespondents,withlessthan0.5percentsolarownershipintherestofthe
nation.Californians(SantaClaraCounty)weremuchmorelikelytosaytheywere
willingtobuyasolarheatedhome(80percent)thanthoseinWashington, D.C.,New
YorkCity,orNoblesCounty,Minnesota(60to64percent).Californiansalsoweremore
inclinedtosaythatinstallingsolarheatintheirpresenthomewoulddemandtoomuchof
theirtimeandeffort(91percentcomparedto57percentforotherareas)[209].
Theeffectofexperiencewithsolarenergyonattitudestowarditwasmeasuredina
studybyTRW [3021.Twocitieswithdemonstrationprojects(PhoenixandMinneapolis)
werecomparedtoonewithoutsuchaproject(KansasCity).InKansasCitypeople
expectedittobelongerbeforesolarenergywasusedbythecityandwerelessinclined
tosaytheywouldconsideritseriouslyevenifthecostwerethesame.

Thelocalstudiesreviewedinthischapterarenotcomparableevenalongmajorissuesfor
purposesofregionalanalysis.Thereappearstobeanequallyhighawarenessofthe
existenceofsolarenergyinallareas.ArelativelylowerproportioninSouthCarolina
saidtheywouldconsidersolarsystems(26percent)comparedtosamplesinArizona(79
percent),Michigan(47percentsaidtheywouldpaymore),orsamplesofvariouscities
acrossthecountry[104,106,117,201,2521; thismaybeafurtherillustrationoflower
favorabilitytowardsolarenergyintheSouth.
Thesedifferencesongeneralfavorabilitytowardsolarenergydonotseemtoberelated
toconcernsaboutclimate.Thelevelofconcernaboutclimateinvariousregionshasnot
beenexplored.TheScottstudy(1976)comparedconcernsaboutappearanceandfound
thoseintheWesttobelessworriedaboutthisaspectofsolarenergythanthoseinother
regions.
Therearemanyothervariablesinthepurchasedecisionregardingsolarenergywhich
havebeenidentifiedinisolatedlocalstudiesbuthaveneverbeenappliedtothenationas
awhole.Asitstands,thedataonregionalvariationsidentifytheWestasmostpositive
towardsolarenergyandtheSouthasleastpositive,andthereissomelimitedevidence
thattheexistenceofdemonstrationprojectsinanareamay increasefavorability.
Summary
Theabilityofcurrentsolartechnologytomeetelectricpowerneeds andtoprovidespace
heatingwasquestionedbynearlyhalftherespondentsinthestudiesreviewed.Performance,
design,andmaintenanceproblemsconstitutedadisadvantageofsolarheating
mentionedbycitizens.Notsurprisingly,gettinginformationaboutmaintenance,longevity,
reliability,andperformanceisofhighpriorityinmakingsolarpurchasedecisions.
Thereisevidencethattheperceivedriskofpurchasingsolarsystemsprobablyaffects
purchasedecisions.
Asmallamountofevidencesuggeststhatmostrespondentsunderestimatedtheinitial
dollarcostofinstallingsolarheatingsystems.Questionsaboutadoptingsolarsystems
whichdidnotspecifyinitialcostsmayhaveelicitedresponsesbasedonunrealisticperceived
costmentionedinthesestudies.Concernexpressedoverinitialcost(amajor
concern)mighthavebeenevengreaterifthecosthadbeenspecifiedinthequestion.
Althoughcostandreliabilitywerefrequentlymentionedconcerns,about 40percentof
respondentsinafewstudiessaidtheywouldconsidersolarenergyeven ifitcostmore
permonthinthelongrunthanalternatives.Nonmonetarybenefitsattributedtosolar
energyinseveralstudieswerethatitsavesresourcesanddoesnotcausepollution.To
speculate,theseaspectsofsolarenergymayhavebeenanimportantreasontoadopt
solarenergyforthelargeminoritywhosaidtheywerewillingtoconsidersolarsystems
evenatgreatercost.Attitudestowardtheideaofsolarenergyappeartobeverypositive,
althoughaverysmallproportionofthetotalpublichasactuallypurchasedsolar
heating.Majoritiesinseveralstudiessupportedfederaleffortstodevelopsolarenergy
andincentiveprogramstoencourageitsuse.
Dataon regionaldifferencessuggestthatthoseinthewesternpart ofthecountrymay
bemorefavorabletosolarenergythantherestofthenation,andthoseinthesouthern

partlessfavorable.

SOLARENERGY

Althoughlessthanonepercentofthepublichavepurchasedsolarsystems,attitudes
towardtheideaofsolarenergyareveryfavorable.Themajorityofthepublicappearsto
supportfederaleffortstodevelopsolarenergyandincentiveprogramstoencourageits
use.
Theabilityofthecurrentsolartechnologiestomeetelectricpowerneedsandtoprovide
spaceheatinginallclimateareaswasquestionedbynearlyhalftherespondentsinthese
studies.Cost,performance,reliability,andmaintenanceproblemsareother
oftenmentioned
disadvantagesofsolarheating.Notsurprisingly,gettinginformationabout
solarsystemswas identifiedasimportantinsolarpurchasedecisions.Someevidence
suggeststhatsolarenergymaybeperceivedaseconomicallyandtechnicallyrisky,astoo
experimentaltousenow.
Inaddition,mostrespondentsinspecialstudiesunderestimatedtheinitialdollarcostof
installingsolarheatingsystems.Inassessingtherelativeadvantageofadoptingsolar
energy,citizensmayhaveinadequateaccesstoinformation,eventhoughinformation
mayexist.Expressionofconcernoverinitialcostmightbeevengreaterifrealcosts
wereknown,thuschangingtheperceivedrelativeadvantageofadoptingasolarsystemin
anegativedirection.About40percentofrespondentssaidtheywouldconsiderbuying
solardevicesevenifthecostweregreaterpermonthinthelongrunthanalternatives.
Includedamongperceivedcharacteristicsofsolarenergyvaluedbyrespondentswere
conservationofnaturalresourcesanddecreasedenvironmentalpollution.

REGIONAL DIFFERENCES
Beliefintheenergycrisisandotherdefinitionsoftheenergyproblemdidnotvary by
region;however,impactswereexperienceddifferentiallyingeographicregionsofthe
nation.
Westernersweremoreconcernedabouttheenvironmentaleffectsofenergysupplythan
peopleinotherpartsofthecountry,althoughtheEastwas verycloseinlevelof
concern.Theuseandextractionoffossilfuelswasagreatersourceofconcerninthe
West.StripminingofcoalwasopposedbyWesternerswhiletherestofthenation
favoredit.
ThoseintheEastshowedahigherlevelofconcernovernuclearpowerwhenriskfactors
werementioned.ThedatasuggestthatSouthernersaresomewhatlessconcernedabout
enviromentalproblemsassociatedwithenergydevelopment.Theywerealsolesslikely
toviewsolarenergyasaviablealternative.

DIFFERENCESBYSOCIODEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTER.ISTICS
Results ofanalyticalfindingsby14sociodemographiccharacteristicsaresummarized
belowbyeachindependentvariable.
Gender
Nodifferencesbygenderwerefoundonbeliefintheseriousnessorrealityoftheenergy
crisis,orinotherdefinitionsoftheenergyproblem.Someevidencesuggestedthat
womentendtobemoreconcernedthanmenaboutthenation'senergyfuture.Women
werefoundtobemoreinfavorofenvironmentalprotectionthanmen.Menwere
exposedtomoreinformationsourcesaboutenergythanwomenandweresomewhatmore
knowledgeable.Womenweresomewhatmorefavorabletodomesticenergyconservation
thanweremen.Menandwomenwhoengagedinconservationbehaviorstendedtodoso
inactivitiesconsonantwiththeirsexroles.
Youngeragegroupsweremorelikelythanolderonestoreportbeliefintheseriousness
oftheenergycrisis;youngeragegroupswerealsomorelikelytoreportagreaterbelief
inthelikelihoodoffutureenergyshortages.Dataonperceivedimpactsoftheenergy
situationrevealedapatternofgreaterreportedimpactsamongolderpeople.Older
groupstendedtoopposepolicyoptionsthatwouldincreaseconsumercosts. Aclearand
consistentpatternofgreatersupportamongtheyoungforprotectingtheenvironment
wasrevealedinanumberofsurveys.
Apatternofgreatersupportforsolarenergyamongyoungergroupswasrevealed.The
oppositepatternheldfornuclearenergy:youngergroupstendedtobelesssupportive
thanoldergroupsofthisenergyoption,althoughtherewassomeevidenceofa
curvilinearrelationshipwithgreatestsupportamongmiddleagegroups.Oldergroups
alsotendedtobemoresupportiveofdevelopmentoffossilfuelenergysourcesthan
youngergroups.Severalofthefindingsindicatedthatincomeisanimportant.confounding
variableinfluencingagerelateddifferencesinenergyattitudesandbehavior.
Education
Ingeneral,thehighertheeducationlevel,themorelikelythat aseriousandrealenergy
problemwasperceivedaswellasbeliefthatitwouldcontinue.Theperformanceofthe
businesscommunityinhandlingresponsibilityduringtheenergycrisiswasjudgedmore
harshlybythemoreeducatedgroups.
Educationallevelwaspositivelyrelatedtofavoringthespeedupofsolarenergy
developmentandenergyconservation,butitwasfoundinonestudytobenegatively
relatedtothedevelopmentofotherenergysourcesortechnologies.Thosewithmore
educationweremorelikelytofavornuclearenergyandtoconsidernuclearplantsassafe
inanotherstudy.Highlyeducatedindividualsresistedproposalsthatwouldinterfere
withtheirpersonalmobility.
Thehighertheeducationallevel,thelesslikelytheindividualwastothinkthatenergy
selfsufficiencywaspossiblefortheUnitedStates.Highereducationallevelswerefound
tobepositivelyassociatedwithhigherlevelsofknowledgeabilityonavarietyofenergy
items.Educationwasfoundinmostcasestobepositivelyrelatedtoenvironmental
protectionattitudes,evenincaseswhereitwouldcostthepersonmore.

Income
Higherincomegroupsgenerallyexpressedgreaterbeliefintherealityoftheenergy
crisis.Noclearpatternsbyincomewerediscoveredconcerningperceivedresponsibility
fortheenergysituation.Lowerincomegroupstendedtofavorpoliciesthatwouldkeep
consumerpriceslow.Lowerincomegroupsalsotendedtobemoresupportiveof
environmentalquality,exceptwherethiswasposedasentailinghigherconsumercosts;in
suchacase,lowerincomegroupsgenerallyfavoredlowercostsoverenvironmental
quality.
Aclearpatternofdifferencebyincome. wasrevealedwithregardtoknowledgeability
aboutenergyissues,adifferenceprobablyconfoundedbyeducationallevel.
Higherincomegroupsexpressedaconsistentlygreaterpreferenceforsolarenergyasa
powersourcethandidlowerincomegroups.Thesameconsistentpatternwasfound
regardingnuclearenergy.Lowerincomegroupsreportedmoregeneraleffortsto
conserve(indicativemostlikelyofaconcernforenergycosts)butgenerallyreported
fewerenergyconservationeffortsorchangesinbehaviorthanothers(mostlikelydueto
apatternofminimalenergyuse).Thereissomeindicationofacurvilinearrelationship
betweenincomeandconservationefforts,however,withmostconservationoccurring
amongmiddleincomegroups.Highincomegroupsappearedtobemostinsensitiveto
priceinducedconservation.Thelowestincomegroupstendedtoexpressconfusionorto
beofmixedopiniononmattersofenergyconservation.Lowerincomegroupstendedto
favoranypoliciesthatresultedinlowerpriceseveniftheseentailedgasolinerationing,
whilehigherincomegroupsclearlyfavoredpoliciesthatdidnotlimitavailability.
Occupation
Occupationsareimportantinknowledgeabilityabouttheenergysituationandattitudes
towardnuclearpower.Perceptionofanenergyrelatedproblemanditsseriousness
increasedasskillandoccupationallevelsincreased.Higheroccupationallevelswere
foundtobesomewhatmorefavorabletowardsolarenergyasalongtermsourceof
energy,althoughsolarenergywasthefirstchoiceformostgroups.Alloccupational
groupspreferredthatU.S. productionofenergybemaximized,usagelimited,and
importedoilreduced.Professionalandwhitecollarworkersweremorelikelytosaythat
nuclearplantsaresafeandthattheywould notopposeconstructionofoneintheirarea.
Conservationattitudesandextentofreportedconservationbehaviordidnotdiffer
appreciablyacrossoccupationalgroups.Whitecollarworkersweremorefavorablethan
otheroccupationalgroupstodevelopmentoflocalpublictransportation.
Race
Therewasapatternofgreaterreportedenergyrelatedimpactsamongnonwhitesthan
whites,probablyasafunctionofthegenerallylowerincomesoftheformerracial
group.Thesalienceoftheenergysituationappearedtobegreateramongwhites,
particularlywhenthiswasmeasuredincomparisonwitheconomicproblems(whichwere
perceivedasmoreseriousbynonwhites).Nonwhitestendedtoshowstrongersupport
thanwhitesforenvironmentalconcerns,exceptwhereenvironmentalqualityissueswere
posedascompetitivewithlowconsumercosts.Therewasastrong,consistentpatternin

thedataofgreaterreportedobjectiveknowledgeamongwhitesthannonwhiteson
energyrelatedissues.Solarenergyreceivedgreatersupportamongwhitesthannonwhites,
whilethelattertendedtosupportdevelopmentofconventionalenergysources.
Supportfornuclearenergyappearedtobeconsistentlygreateramongwhitesthanamong
nonwhites;thelattergrouprevealedaconsistentpatternofdoubtorindecisiononthis
issue.Therewerenoapparentracialdifferencesinattitudesorbehaviorinregardto
energyconservation.
PoliticalOrientation
Varianceinopinionbypartisanpoliticalaffiliationtendedtobeelicitedbyitems
mentioningfamouspoliticalpersonalities(Nixon,Ford,Carter). Ingeneral,thesurvey
findingsshowDemocratstobeslightlylessknowledgeableahoutenergyissues,somewhat
morelikelytoviewtheenergycrisisasquiteserious,lessfavorabletonuclearenergy
andcoaldevelopment,andmorefavorabletowardenergyconservationthan
Republicans.Republicanswereslightlymoreconcernedaboutmaintainingcentralized
energysourcesandnothavingtheirownEvesaffected,whichmaytranslateintoadesire
tomaintainwhathasbecomethetraditionalAmericanlifestyleanditsenergyuse
patterns.Theirslightlygreaterknowledgeofissueshasnotresultedinawillingnesson
theirparttoact.
Varianceinopinionbypoliticalphilosophy(conservative,moderate,liberal)tendedto
extendandcomplementthefindingsbypartyaffiliation.Thoughthesefindingscannot
beviewedasconclusiveproofofimportantdifferencesonenergyattitudesbypolitical
philosophy,aninterestingpatternemerged.Liberalstendedtobesomewhatmore
favorabletotheenvironmentandtosolutionstotheenergyprobleminvolvingenergy
conservationandsolarenergy(althoughthislastdifferencewasnotmarked).
Conservativestendedtofindmajorcorporationscrediblesourcesofinformation,to
blameenvironmentalistsfortheenergycrisismorefrequentlythanliberals,andtofavor
nuclearenergymorethanliberals.Thesuggestionofthesefindings,takentogether,is
thattraditional,centralizedenergysystemsaresomewhatpreferredbyRepublicansand
conservativesandinnovative,decentralizedsystemsandenergyconservationbyDemocrats
andliberals.Nevertheless,politicalorientationdoesnotappeartobeasgermane
toenergyattitudesandbehaviorasotherdemographiccharacteristics,such asincome.
Religious Affiliation
Notsurprisingly,ingeneralreligiousaffiliation(Protestant andCatholic)ismostlikely
notanimportantpredictivevariableinaccountingforpublicresponsetoenergyissuesor
publicpreferencesamongenergypolicyoptions.Whatdifferencesarefoundbyreligion
areprobablyattributabletoothercorrelatesofthevariable,suchassocioeconomic
status.Theinterestingexceptionisapossiblecorrelationbetweenreligiousaffiliation
andperceivedriskofneighboringnuclearpowerplantfacilities(Catholicsweremore
likelythanProtestantstobeconcernedaboutrisk).Thispotentialcorrelationwarrants
furtherstudy.Thepossibilityofreligiousaffiliationemergingasarelevantvariable
wouldbeenhancediforganizedreligionintheUnitedStatesadoptedenergyasanissue.
MaritalStatus

Therewouldbelittlereasontoexpectdifferencesinopiniononenergyissues bymarital
status,and,forthemostpart,suchdifferenceswerenotreportedinthedata.What
differencesinopiniondidoccurbymaritalstatusclusteredarounditemshavingtodo
withconservation.Takentogether,thefindingssuggestthatunmarriedpersonsare
somewhatmorelikelytofindinfringementoftheirpersonalmobility ahardshipthan
marriedpersons.Singlesaremorelikelythanthosemarriedtobeabletofunction
domesticallywithlessenergyusebylivinginsmallerresidences,butnotthroughadopting
domesticenergyconservingpractices.
HousingCharacteristics
Concernabouttheamountofelectricitybeingusedincreasedwiththesizeofthehouse,
asmeasuredbythenumberofrooms.Willingnesstobuyasolarheatedhousedidnot
varyformultifamilyversussinglefamilydwellers.Althoughhomevaluehada
significantpositiverelationshiptosupportfortaxincentivesforsolarenergy,itwasnot
relatedtowillingnesstobuy.Concernaboutconservationwasmorelikelyamong
familieswithfiveormoremembersthanamongsmallerhouseholds;singlesandcouples
weremuchlessinterestedinconservationretrofitthanothers.Housingcharacteristics
areavariablerelevantprimarilytoenergyconservationandsolarenergyalternatives.
Homeowners hi^
Homeownership,confoundedasitisbyincomeandmaritalstatus,isprobablynotan
importantpredictivevariableinexplainingenergyattitudes.Itmaybegermanein
consideringadoptionofsolarenergy.Homeownersweremorelikelythanrenterstohave
heardaboutsolarenergy,toexpressconcernabouttheamountofelectricitytheyused,
andtoexpresswillingnesstoacceptadditionalcosttoinstallsolarsystems.Ownersalso
werefoundtopreferindividuallyorientedsolutionstoenergygeneration.
TransportationCharacteristics
Thisvariablepertainsprirnarilytogasolineconservation.Noncarhouseholdsexpressed
moreenvironmentalconcernthanhouseholdswithcars.Carownersfelttheeffectsof
theenergycrisismorethannonownersandmademoreattemptstokeepthemselves
informedonmileagestandardsforcars.Carownersweremoreoptimisticaboutthe
futureofenergysuppliesthanwerenoncarowners.Carownershipisconfoundedby
incomelevels,whichisprobablythemoresignificantvariable.
Urban/RuralResidence
Ruralpersonsweresomewhatmorelikelythanurbanitestoregardtheenergycrisisas
'kontrived.lTRuralresidentsweremorelikelythanothergroupstofeelthatthevoting
publicshouldmakethedecisionsonvariousenergyrelatedissues.Daylightsavingtime
hadalargerimpactondrivinginurbanareasbutwasmostdislikedonfarmsandinsmall
towns.Knowledgeabilitywasaboutequalacrossresidentialgroups,butruralandurban
peoplehadmoreaccurateinformationondifferentspecificissues.Ruralresidents
expressedmoreconcernthancityresidentsabouttheavailabilityofenergythanabout
environmentalproblems.Urban residentsweremorelikelythanothergroupsto
consider

payingforsolarenergy.Thoseincitiesweremoreconcernedabouttheriskofnuclear
powerplants.Theywerealsomorefavorabletoenergyconservationandmasstransit.
SOCIALPSYCHOLOGICALVARIABLES

Thevariablemostfrequentlyemployedinanalysesasanindependentpredictorofother
attitudesandactionswasbeliefintheenergycrisis.Thesurveyanalysesusingbelief
withawiderangeofdependentvariableswereexaminedtodetermineifasignificant
patternoffindingsemerged.
Thereviewdemonstratesthatnoclearpatternoffindingsestablishesadirectrelationship
betweenbeliefinanenergycrisis,orperceptionofitsseriousnessandreality,and
anyothervariable.Mostanalysesusingbeliefastheindependentvariableaddressed
variousaspectsofenergycon.servation,buttheyemployedsomanydifferentdependent
variableswithdifferencesinfindingsamonginvestigatorsthatgeneralconclusionsare
notpossible.ThemostpersuasivestudyusedasthedependentvariableBtuactually
consumedinhouseholdsratherthanselfreportofconservationmeasurestaken.This
studyfoundaninverse,butnotstatisticallysignificant,relationshipbetweenbeliefand
energyactuallyconserved.
Beliefintheenergycrisiswasnotfoundtoberelatedtoenergyconservingbehavior. In
thefewstudiesrelatingbelieftopreferencesconcerningnuclearenergy,fossilfuel
energysources,andsolarenergynoconvincingdifferenceswerefound. .
Itispossiblethatbiasfromfundingsourcesofsurveysonenergyattitudesmighthave
affectedthefrequencywithwhichthebeliefvariablewas employedincomparisonwith
othertheoreticallypossiblevariables(suchasbeliefinefficacyorrelativeadvantage).
Convictiononthepartofgovernmentalagenciesandenergycompaniesandutilitiesthat
thepublicshouldengageinenergyconservationseems tobebehindthepatternof
questionsaskedandanalysesperformedonthevariables.
Severalhypothesesforfutureresearchweresuggestedbythedataandoutlinedin
Chapter8.Ingeneral,manyofthefactorsaffectingfavorabilitytowardvariousenergy
a1 ternativesandactualbehaviorwithrespecttoadoptionofenergyconservationand
solarenergyarenotwellunderstood.Althoughexistingdatasuggestwhatsomeofthe
importantfactorsmightbe(e.g.,experiencedimpactsofenergyshortages,perceived
salienceoftheenergyproblem),theexplorationoftheirimportanceandrelevanceto
energypolicymakingawaitsfurtherinvestigation