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Category: Psychology in Solar

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The Earth Sequence

As we learned in an earlier post, Earth Day was founded only a few decades ago, though humans have been celebrating and giving gratitude to the Earth for centuries, all over the world. As a refresher, a former U.S. senator named Gaylord Nelson created the very first Earth Day in the United States on April 22, 1970. According to the Smithsonian, “On December 7, 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts captured a now-iconic image of Earth, sometimes called the “blue marble.” Our National Air and Space Museum explains how it became an inspiration and symbol for continuing Earth Day celebrations” (https://www.si.edu/spotlight/earth-day) – check out the link for more inspiring Earth day memorabilia. This month we’ll celebrate Earth Day celebrations around the world, and to kick it off, I’d like to share what yogi’s call the “Earth sequence,” or Prithvi Namaskara (https://druyoga.com/yoga-online/video/earth-sequence) – so don’t be shy, grab a mat, and try it out! You might be surprised by just how grounded you feel afterwards.

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The Psychology of Decision Making

You’ve heard it before: the more choices you have, the harder the decision is to make. You spend countless moments the cereal isle – contemplating whether you’ll be in the mood for chocolate, fruity, nutty, or sugar-less cereal in the coming week – when you know you’ll be back soon to make the decision all over again.

The same can be true with choosing which type of energy efficiencies you might like to upgrade in your home, and then in choosing the right company to make said upgrades. For just about everyone that decides to ‘go solar,’ Total Cost is the #1 driver when considering which company to choose from – especially when the relative quality of solar panels is fairly consistent across the board (Panasonic 335W panels have ~20% module efficiency, LG 360W panels have ~20.8% module efficiency, Q-Cells have ~19.9% module efficiency); but let’s consider one fundamental piece of the decision making process: the Anchoring Heuristic.

According to the Association for Psychological Science (APS), “anchoring, is people’s tendency to stay close to a starting point when making an estimate — even when they know that the starting point could be way off the mark” – so, when considering bids, if the first solar company you meet with provides you with a quote for a $40,000 system with the highest efficiency panels on the market, you’re more likely to stay closer to that number than you would had you started with a bid closer to ~$30,000 (https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/the-mechanics-of-choice). This is not to suggest that you should buy the lowest-cost system every time, because of course there are always caveats (like considering whether a company can achieve what they say they can in the allotted time frame), however it’s important to keep in mind when shopping around not only what you’re looking for, but why you’re making a certain decision. 

The article goes on further to discuss the two different “systems” in which we make decisions – fast and “gut feeling” decisions, and slow, “research-based” decisions. Both types of decisions have a role to play in our lives – fast decisions help us to survive whereas slow decisions help us to thrive. When you’ve made the decision to learn more about solar, we recommend you get more than one quote (ideally three) to really make the best financial decision for your family – but keep in mind that if you’re feeling pressure to make a decision quickly, you’re more likely to use your “gut feeling” than a “research-based” decision. When it comes to weighing out options, it’s important to consider who you’re working with, what they’re offering, and why their price differs from their competitor. Why am I telling you this? It’s simple: I know from my experience in the solar industry that our prices at SUNTEX are competitive, and that the customer is the most important aspect of our business – and even if you don’t decide to go solar with us, we celebrate your decision to go solar! At the end of the day we just want you to make the best financial decision for you and your family, and we would love the opportunity to help make that decision a little easier – the more information you have, the better.

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