Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media
Installing residential solar is one way that North Carolina (NC) residents can save money on their energy bills, reduce their contribution to climate change, and contribute to energy resilience in the state. Despite these benefits, most NC residents do not have residential solar. People may not have solar for many reasons such as a lack of motivation, high costs, not having a home suitable for solar, homeowner association rules, and a lack of trustworthy information about installing solar. North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) supports a transition to clean energy technologies like residential solar. It can strategically communicate with residents to help them understand the benefits of solar and how to overcome barriers to getting solar. The organization can encourage its audience members to consider getting solar or to at least support solar in their communities even if they are not in the position to get solar themselves. The purpose of this thesis project is to understand the factors that influence adoption of residential solar in NC and to create a communications plan that takes these factors into account to help NCSEA increase residential solar. Elements of the plan include the target audience, primary and secondary messages, objectives, goals, strategies, tactics, channels, evaluation measures, and sample communications materials.