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2. ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, 2.7 ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, 5.2 ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS
This report evaluates Irish home owners’ perceptions, attitudes and willingness to pay (WTP) for microgeneration technologies, including photovoltaic (solar panels), solar water heaters, micro wind turbines and wood pellet boilers.
The data presented in the report stem from two large-scale surveys, both designed by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and commissioned on behalf of Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) and DIT. The first study gathered data on Irish people’s general awareness of microgeneration technologies and was conducted in March 2009. The second and main survey targeted Irish home owners in order to understand their perceptions of and attitudes to microgeneration. The survey was designed based on the findings from a series of exploratory face-to-face interviews with home owners and an extensive review of the available evidence around microgeneration. Both studies were administered by TNS MRBI via computer-assisted telephone interviews.
The report is structured as follows. Part I presents the research methodology and findings from an awareness study, discussing differences in the level of awareness between the respective microgeneration technologies and consumer segments.
Part II presents the findings from the large-scale field survey, breaking the analysis into four parts. It discusses Irish home owners’ WTP for the respective microgeneration technologies and analyses differences in WTP between socioeconomic groups. The findings show significant differences in WTP between the technologies.
Part III compares home owners’ attitudes and perceptions of product characteristics between the four microgeneration technologies. Part IV takes a different perspective, evaluating differences in attitudes and perceptions between three distinct groups of home owners, i.e. potential adopters, undecided and rejecters. Part V evaluates Irish home owners’ intention to buy these technologies and tests the influence of some of the perceptions, attitudes and social norms that have been discussed.
 Because of the low level of familiarity with the term ‘photovoltaic panels’, they are referred to in this report as ‘solar panels’.
Claudy, M., O'Driscoll, A. Duffy, A. (2010). Home Owners’ Attitudes, Perceptions and Willingness to Pay for Microgeneration Technologies. Dublin: Dublin Institute of Technology.