Monday, November 13, 2023
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Trust, Partisanship, and the Adoption of Electrification Technologies through Financing Programs
Session ID
A3 - Lightning: Accelerating the Home Electrification Journey
Oliver Chapman

This paper investigates the factors influencing the adoption of two electrification technologies - rooftop solar (RPV) and air source heat pumps (HPs) - among individuals who initially displayed no willingness to pay for such technologies. Data was collected from an original survey of 1,800 adults living in Georgia, USA, in 2021, focusing on a subsection of 776 respondents unwilling to pay for RPV or HPs before financing policy support was offered. Binomial logistic regression models uncover notable differences between policy-driven adopters of rooftop solar (RPV) and air source heat pumps (HPs) most consistent of which were trust in institutions, climate urgency, and income levels. Trust in various institutions responsible for designing, operating, and evaluating U.S. energy services and infrastructure consistently predicted the likelihood of reconsidering adoption when policy support was provided. For RPV, trust in the scientific community is positively associated with adoption. In contrast, high levels of trust in local government and low levels of trust in the federal government are positively associated with heat pump adoption. An additional separate linear regression analysis demonstrates a strong correlation between partisanship and trust, with increased Republican affiliation correlating with decreased federal government and scientific trust. The significance of climate concern as a motivating factor varies between the adoption of solar panels and heat pumps. Climate concerns play a substantial role in influencing the decision to adopt solar panels, but it does not significantly impact the adoption of heat pumps. Conversely, income levels strongly correlate with heat pump adoption decisions, while they do not appear to be as influential in the choice to adopt solar panels. Understanding what influences specific technology adoption among non-participating households and communities can help policymakers and stakeholders design targeted interventions to promote equitable and sustainable transitions to low-carbon energy sources.

Supporting Document 1