Why People Don’t Go Solar: A Matter of Understanding

The use of solar energy, whether as a heating source or a power source, has existed for centuries. Regardless of its technical application (heating water, or generating electricity), the understanding was that power of the sun could be harnessed and utilized.

The question is always asked “If [photovoltaic] solar is so good, why doesn’t everybody do it”? Outside of the physical limitations (limited roof space, or excessive shading), that could prevent would-be solar homeowners from going solar, there are still reasons why some of the “one out of 5 homeowners” who qualify to go solar, choose not to. Today, though the concept of harnessing the sun’s power being one of antiquity, the “why” people choose (or choose not) to harness this power remain the same: it is a matter of understanding.

As one who does coordination for our Street Team, I have often had the privilege of interviewing potential candidates who wish to work with Rayah. Along with the list of “necessary questions” which help us gauge whether each candidate is a “good fit” for Rayah (and vice versa), there is one question that we would ask, that I, for a long time thought to be very peculiar: “What do you think is the most important part about leadership”? Initially this question was not included in our series of interview questions, nor is the Street Team a “leadership” position (in the hierarchical sense). It was, however, only after our most recent round of interviews (which were seemingly no different than any other), did the question truly strike me.

After listening to the different responses, one thing became crystal clear: the candidates were not expressing what they perceived to be the ideal set of “leadership qualities”, but rather, they were expressing how they wanted to be led. It reminded me of a conversation I had with a professor/potential solar customer who said that there is no finite set of “Leadership Qualities”, but rather, a leader is born out of necessity – each situation determining the type of leadership necessary for that circumstance. If anything, a leader is one who has an understanding of what is necessary for each circumstance. In essence, he said that true leadership is a matter of understanding.

“So what does this have to do with solar” you might be asking? It likewise hit me that, ironically, the same principle applies when interacting with individuals interested in going solar: there is no finite set of reasons why people do or do not go solar (in the sense that each customer is an individual with unique reasons for their decisions), but rather it is a matter of understanding – “perspective”. It is possible that for many solar “nay-sayers”, the reasons that are given as to why they are adverse to the idea of solar, are the very reasons why solar would be the most beneficial (for their situation). As a solar consultant, my job is not to “sell” solar as one would think, but rather to explain solar options to homeowners and help them understand if and how solar can fit into their lifestyle. In the end, however, the choice is always theirs.

To the wealthy, what good is a dollar? To the thirsty, a glass of water may be worth its weight in gold. All in all, it is a matter of understanding – perspective. So it is with solar: as each person is unique, though the responses as to “why” or “why not” solar may be similar, the reasoning or understanding behind the responses are as diverse as the people.

If you’re interested in going solar, get an evaluation. What might be “just a dollar” of savings for someone else, might be a refreshing glass of good news for you! – Check things out for yourself! Don’t limit yourself to someone else’s understanding, because in the end, the choice is yours.

Article By: Lumyr D. ~ Street Team Coordinator, Rayah Solar

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