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: 750

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

Kaushal Bharath Raju replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"Thanks Chie! We have this event in our calender."
5 hours ago
Kaushal Bharath Raju replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"Hi Alice; I tried sending you an e-mail but the message bounced. Can you kindly verify your e-mail…"
5 hours ago
Chie Kawahara replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"Hi Kaushal, Thousand Home Challenge is a wonderful forum and the resource collection is…"
6 hours ago
Alice La Pierre replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"Hello Kaushal, While it's true I did some of the finish work myself, I also acted as my own…"
8 hours ago
Kaushal Bharath Raju replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"Thank you Linda for your response; and your generosity in sharing your suggestion and hope. I…"
8 hours ago
Kaushal Bharath Raju replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"Wow...thank you so much for your response Alice! I really appreciate it. It is simply amazing all…"
9 hours ago
Tom White's 3 videos were featured
9 hours ago
Jim Gunshinan's blog post was featured
9 hours ago
Sharon Block's 3 events were featured
9 hours ago
Tom White posted videos
9 hours ago
Linda Wigington replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"Kaushal I just spent more than an hour on a detailed response and lost when I decided to check the…"
10 hours ago
Sharon Block posted events
10 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service