Robert Walatka, a Master of Public Policy (MPP) student at Harris Public Policy and Harris Research Associate Professor Kim Wolske are researching how installing residential solar is easier at specific times, such as when building a home and completing roof maintenance. Wolske and Walatka are working on understanding the perceptions of solar by home builders and roofing contractors, with the goal of increasing the involvement of these actors in the residential solar market.

“A major takeaway is the sheer complexity of large-scale, long-term policy research. With a 3-year time horizon, staying organized and being prepared for unexpected barriers has been key. Working with Professor Wolske has encouraged me to think beyond standard economic approaches to making policy. For our project, we are exploring the power of perceptions, considering individual psychology, and understanding roofers and builders’ concerns. This experience has solidified my interest in a psychological approach to policy.”