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Title: The value of price transparency in residential solar photovoltaic markets

Installed prices for residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have declined significantly in recent years. However price dispersion and limited customer access to PV quotes prevents some prospective customers from obtaining low price offers. This study shows that improved customer access to prices - also known as price transparency - is a potential policy lever for further PV price reductions. We use customer search and strategic pricing theory to show that PV installation companies face incentives to offer lower prices in markets with more price transparency. We test this theoretical framework using a unique residential PV quote dataset. Our results show that installers offer lower prices to customers that are expected to receive more quotes. Our study provides a rationale for policies to improve price transparency in residential PV markets.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-6A20-70800
Journal ID: ISSN 0301-4215
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy Policy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0301-4215
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; solar PV; prices; quotes; price transparency; installers; competition
OSTI Identifier:
1433308

O'Shaughnessy, Eric, and Margolis, Robert. The value of price transparency in residential solar photovoltaic markets. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.03.025.
O'Shaughnessy, Eric, & Margolis, Robert. The value of price transparency in residential solar photovoltaic markets. United States. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.03.025.
O'Shaughnessy, Eric, and Margolis, Robert. 2018. "The value of price transparency in residential solar photovoltaic markets". United States. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.03.025.
@article{osti_1433308,
title = {The value of price transparency in residential solar photovoltaic markets},
author = {O'Shaughnessy, Eric and Margolis, Robert},
abstractNote = {Installed prices for residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have declined significantly in recent years. However price dispersion and limited customer access to PV quotes prevents some prospective customers from obtaining low price offers. This study shows that improved customer access to prices - also known as price transparency - is a potential policy lever for further PV price reductions. We use customer search and strategic pricing theory to show that PV installation companies face incentives to offer lower prices in markets with more price transparency. We test this theoretical framework using a unique residential PV quote dataset. Our results show that installers offer lower prices to customers that are expected to receive more quotes. Our study provides a rationale for policies to improve price transparency in residential PV markets.},
doi = {10.1016/j.enpol.2018.03.025},
journal = {Energy Policy},
number = C,
volume = 117,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {4}
}