Can peer pressure push people to investment in thousands of dollars worth of home improvements? Google hopes so. Project Sunroof, one of the tech giant's latest ventures, uses maps to show people which of their neighbors have installed solar panels. Google is hoping that if you've been toying with the idea of installing solar, a little keeping up with the Joneses might speed things along.
But the economics of solar aren't as simple as, say, a new mailbox, or a rehabbed garden. There are subsidies, rebates and over-time earning potential. There are the complexities of selling energy back to the grid and the income inequality issues raised by net metering.
Marketplace Weekend is taking a look at energy policy and the choices we all make (or are pushed into) when it comes to our own energy use. We want to hear your stories about solar power — Did you install panels at home? Did your neighborhood undergo a group transition towards solar? Let us know!
If you're renting, and feel like you don't have control over your home energy decisions, or if you feel like net metering means that you're subsidizing energy use for people who can more easily afford to pay their own way, we want to hear from you too.