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Product Innovation to Increase Low-to-Moderate-Income Customers' Adoption of Community Solar PV

  • 1.  Product Innovation to Increase Low-to-Moderate-Income Customers' Adoption of Community Solar PV

    Divisions Leader
    Posted 09-28-2021 09:29 PM

    Solstice Initiative, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is working in partnership with the Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Office on a project that seeks to expand equity in community solar. The overall objective of the project is to create community solar subscriber agreements that mutually benefit LMI households and solar developers. Upon completion of this study, Solstice will share our research results publicly and will also share detailed insights with our developer partners in exchange for participating. We want this research to help developers understand 1) customer reactions to different community solar contracts and 2) industry benchmarks for community solar churn and default. 

    Solstice's theory of change is that if we can better understand customer reactions to different community solar product offerings, and if we can better quantify the churn and default risk of LMI community solar customers, we can use that data to convince community solar financiers to be more inclusive of LMI in their projects. To do this work, Solstice taking several approaches. We'll be:

    • Surveying nearly 2,000 individuals across eight states to gauge what matters most to subscribers when enrolling in a particular product offering,
    • Distributing a companion survey to community solar developers to assess price sensitivities that impact decisions in how they structure their products, and
    • Conducting quantitative analyses on the impact demographics and contract variables might have on churn and default rates for community solar projects.

    Solstice is seeking developer partners to participate in this research by sharing subscriber churn and default data from recent projects. I've attached a fact sheet to this note that explains the process in more detail. Any data you choose to provide will be delivered directly to Experian PLC's research team, where it will be anonymized and appended with Experian's Premier Credit Attributes dataset. At no point will Solstice have access to the confidential information associated with your current or past customers. Solstice is then willing to share the appended data set with variables collected from Experian with Nautilus at no cost.
    If you are interested in participating or learning more, please contact Eli Goldman (eli@solstice.us)

    Gilbert Michaud
    Assistant Professor of Practice
    Ohio University