Renewable Energy Householders in the Sunshine State
Do They Perceive a Rebound Effect?
Keywords:Renewable energy adoption, solar rebound, consumers' attitudes, climate change
Rooftop solar PV installations have experienced rapid and unprecedented growth in Australia. However, one issue that contributes to inefficiencies in the electricity market is the ‘solar rebound effect’ which refers to the reduction in expected gains from eco-efficient technologies due to an increase in the use of the resource. However, little literature exists that incorporates consumers’ cognitions into studies of the solar rebound effect in Australia. This study aims to bridge a research gap by examining consumer perceptions of the solar rebound effect after installing rooftop solar, along with the psychological factors that might play a role in mitigating the solar rebound effects. A quantitative methodology was adopted, and a pilot survey was administered to residents (n=68) in a regional city. Frequency distributions and non-parametric tests were undertaken. The results indicate significant differences between those who report a solar rebound effect and those who do not, relating to factors such as thermal comfort, bill consciousness and an environmental self-identity. Implications for future research and practice are outlined in the paper.
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