Change is Hard—How Do You Get People to Accept It?

Changing one’s daily routine and making big decisions about money is hard. When a home performance contractor asks a customer to consider an audit, they are asking a lot. Besides the cost of the audit and any retrofit measures the homeowner chooses to pay for, which is probably the biggest challenge, there is also the inconvenience. The audit and retrofit may require the homeowner to take time off from work. Having workers climb in and out of the attic, under the crawlspace, and drill holes in the wall can be very disruptive. After all, people come home to find some peace and quiet after a day at the office and a long commute, or they are at home raising a family or working in a home office. Instead of peace, you are offering them a few days of chaos. Instead of a nice clean house, you are asking the homeowner to put up with a lot of noise and dust.

And after paying the price in money, inconvenience, and missed work time, there is no guarantee the contractor can give to the homeowner that the home will be more energy efficient and comfortable; or that the retrofit work will add value to the home. The former depends a lot on the lifestyle of the people living in the home, and the latter, at least for now, usually depends on the whims of the housing market.

Change is always inconvenient; it is always disruptive. But home performance contractors are asking their customers to change—and not just for a day. In order for the homeowner to realize all the benefits of a retrofit requires him or her to be more aware of the settings on their thermostat, and the exhaust fans in their bathrooms. Who wants to climb into a dusty, spider-infested attic with rusty roofing nails at head level to change a furnace filter every three months?

I know that there are “first adopters” out there—people who have the money to experiment with new technology and who have places to be comfortable while their house is being worked on. But for people who are living closer to the edge financially, and who have very little free time, it’s a real challenge.

I don’t know how you get someone to go through everything involved in a retrofit. So I’m asking you. How do you do it? What works and what doesn’t work? What have you found that makes people willing to put up a lot of money and put up with a lot of disruption, to take a chance at having a more efficient, comfortable, and healthy home to live in?

Views: 775

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Craig Bird commented on Hal Skinner's group The RCC Classroom (Radiant Control Coatings)
"Correct, that is exactly what I said"
34 minutes ago
Hal Skinner commented on Hal Skinner's group The RCC Classroom (Radiant Control Coatings)
"At 1.7% enterng the structure, that Radiant barrier is now going to allow the R-rated insulation/s…"
1 hour ago
Craig Bird commented on Hal Skinner's group The RCC Classroom (Radiant Control Coatings)
"And how much of that 1.7% of the suns energy that got through the RB or RCC gets into the house,…"
1 hour ago
Hal Skinner commented on Hal Skinner's group The RCC Classroom (Radiant Control Coatings)
"OK.  This might be rudamentary here.  I want to make sure everyone understands how SOLAR…"
1 hour ago
Craig Bird commented on Hal Skinner's group The RCC Classroom (Radiant Control Coatings)
"Hal - I would disagree that radiant heat "goes through" fibrous insulation. Radiant heat…"
1 hour ago
Hal Skinner commented on Hal Skinner's group The RCC Classroom (Radiant Control Coatings)
"Hi KLurt. I would isagree with the comment that the attic floor is heated by the…"
2 hours ago
Craig Bird commented on Hal Skinner's group The RCC Classroom (Radiant Control Coatings)
"Now back to your question - the best data for radiant barriers is the DOE studies from the ORNL.…"
2 hours ago
Kevin Jordan posted a discussion

Does anyone have pointers on approaching real estate induatry.

Hello All!!I am figuring on approaching the real estate and low income housing industries here in…See More
2 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service