This is a link to a recent article from a leading energy marketing firm that discusses a multi-year decline in energy-saving improvements:
It would be interesting to hear members comments and their own view.
I can give you my own original ideas to your question:
1. Most people find it boring to save energy.
2. Most people find people who save energy to be boring(that's how I'm perceived).
3. Most people prefer to spend their discretionary income on "fun" things: restaurants, entertainment, casino, auto, etc.
4. Most people believe that energy should be a free and inalienable right: they want free electricity, gasoline, heating oil, and propane. Some of them find a way to get it for free.
5. Most people have a basic mistrust of science, do not understand it or believe in it, nor want to use it. The exception scientific products being, of course: autos, smartphones, and nest thermostats!
ps I hope other people have ideas as I'm all tapped out! t
6. Gas is not at $5 a gallon
7. Most people have switched over to CFL's
8. No one likes maintaining their property, especially as the don't plan on being there beyond X years
9. Most people have been bitten by the slick window / radiant / solar fan /... salesmen & think most ads are snake oil
10. Very few people will switch out appliances unless they have a good reason to - if it isn't broke, don't fix it
11. It rarely is about saving money or energy for most people
Lawrence Berkley had a huge study done on "selling Energy Efficiency" which pretty well nailed it on the head - sorry I don't have the link handy but I am sure you can find the link here, my site or someone else might post it
Is this the study you're thinking of http://drivingdemand.lbl.gov/
That looks like it - Thanks Nick
I think that this study may be more to the point on problems in "selling Energy Efficiency."
Revealing Myths about People, Energy and Buildings
Rick Diamond and Mithra Moezzi
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
In this essay we take a closer look at the ways energy professionals and the public
alike, talk, write and think about how energy affects the way in which we design, operate,
retrofit and inhabit buildings. What are some of the myths about people, energy and buildings
that are current today? Who tells these myths and why do we believe them? How do myths
affect our behavior? Myths are a way of understanding the world we live in. They may
represent incomplete understanding, or be based on premises that are scientifically not valid,
but they help us understand and explain how the world works, and we shape our behavior accordingly.
The second part of explanation 8 could stand on its own. Nearly all employed people are subject to transfers by employers or choose to move in search of new opportunities. They remain footloose, not rooted. Investments in places are generally minimal/cosmetic.
I believe these are among the good reasons for public policies vis a vis home performance,
HVAC is one of the biggest things people can do as an energy upgrade, yet few people do until their old system finally dies. The contractor selling the system has no incentive to give the customer a lower power bill, just to sell more expensive equipment. The customers existing system has broke in the middle of summer, so little research is done on part of the customer they just want to be cool now for the lowest cost possible. Replacement systems are almost always oversized, yet the ductwork is never upgraded to accommodate the larger system. This leaves the customer with little if any energy savings when compared to their old system. After spending $5k+ on a new HVAC system w/o seeing any savings they basically think that low energy bills mean living a caveman lifestyle.
Think about it, how many high SEER (15+) systems have you seen that AREN'T substantially oversized?
Maybe the authors clientele-the utility company's-who pay for this publication- may have something to do with their bias in this study? ....... look behind the curtain Dorothy
What bias do you detect in the press release? And what is its effect?
The utilities have as much interest in weatherization as Monsanto has selling corn to Orval Redenbuacker.
That varies, as policies are different from state to state.
Just because we can build a better mouse trap doesn't mean people will beat a path to our websites. This stuff can be complicated, and people don't want complicated, they want easy. And shiny. And free (before the rebate). We're doomed as an industry as long as we continue to propose science based solutions, rather than something they can pick up at HD or Costco.
Sarcasm aside, I get that people don't want to spend money on this stuff, but I never anticipated how tough, even impossible it can be, to get them to simply change behavior.