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Red is the new blue – The role of color, building integration and country-of-origin in homeowners ’ preferences for residential photovoltaics

Journal Title: Energy and Buildings, 03.2018



The wider diffusion of solar photovoltaics (PV) is crucial to lower the environmental impact of the residential sector, which is responsible for a large share of energy consumption in many industrialized countries, including Switzerland. By conducting an adaptive choice-based conjoint (ACBC) with a representative sample of Swiss homeowners planning to undertake a roof renovation project, we investigate the extent to which financial and non-financial factors drive homeowners’ preferences for PV in Switzerland. We reveal that the color and country of origin of the PV modules are the main drivers for increasing share of preference for PV. In addition, we estimate the price premium that homeowners are willing to payfor building-integrated PV (BIPV) versus rack-mounted PV. We find a premium in willingness to pay of 21.79% for a roof with a BIPV installation in comparison with a rack-mounted PV installation. We further show that an increase in revenues from electricity sales (e.g. via feed-in tariffs), when transparently disclosed over an aggregated time frame, would be almost equally effective in spurring demand for PV as a decrease of initial investment costs (e.g. via one-off investment grants). Implications for energy policy and marketing are discussed.

Stefanie Hille, Hans Christoph Curtius, Rolf Wüstenhagen

Mar 2018

Item Type
Journal paper
Subject Areas
business studies