Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What do Plano Residents think about Solar Energy?

In late March of this year, Plano Senior High School (PSHS) Advanced Placement Environment Science (APES) classes participated in a homework assignment with their families to complete a survey about solar energy. The survey was completed by over 200 respondents.

The purpose of the survey was to obtain a sampling of the views of residents regarding their awareness, interests, concerns, and potential barriers to deployment of solar energy in Plano. The survey consisted of approximately 30 questions. These questions were a compilation obtained from citizen surveys performed in Houston, San Antonio, and Austin over the last few years. The results from this local survey sample were somewhat similar to the results of the other Texas cities. 

Here is a sample of some of the questions and local results:
  • Which of the following concern you about the future of energy and the environment?
    • top responses - increased energy prices; decreased availability of energy;
  • How concerned are you about future energy prices?
    • 95% responded either very concerned or somewhat concerned
  • How likely are you to invest in solar power for your home or to buy a home with solar power already installed?
    • 55% responded either very likely or somewhat likely
  • How much of a factor is cost in purchasing and installing a solar power system?
    • 95% responded either very important or important
Other responses indicated:
  • 67% were not aware of existing solar rebates or tax credits
  • Aside from the concern of cost, the top three reasons cited for not having pursued installation of a solar power system were:
    • Lack of confidence in selecting the proper system
    • Don't know where to buy it
    • Don't know who would install it
The purpose of this solar energy blog posting and previous blog postings over the last few months is to increase awareness of solar energy and its potential in Plano. The sample survey completed by the group of students' families from PSHS was intended to obtain a better understanding of the current views and concerns of residents. While this survey represented only a sample of Plano residents, hopefully these initial results will help facilitate the implementation of a wider survey of local residents. The results from a wider survey could enable interested citizens groups to create action plans to communicate opportunities about the great potential over the coming years of expanding the deployment of solar energy right here in Plano.

And SPECIAL THANKS to the APES teachers and students at Plano Senior High School for their involvement in the process and participation in the survey!

Need more info about promoting the use of solar power generation in Plano? Please contact me! planosolar@gmail.com

Plano Solar Energy Advocate (LH)


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