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: 799

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

Dennis Heidner replied to Patrick Michaelyan's discussion Vinyl Siding with Integral Insulation
"The observation about rot is important.   I agree. One of my complaints with some of the…"
yesterday
Jennifer Schenk added a discussion to the group Job Board
Thumbnail

Job Opening - Energy Programs Manager - Frisco, CO

Energy Programs Manager - High Country Conservation CenterJob DescriptionGeneral Description of…See More
yesterday
Jennifer Schenk joined Diane Chojnowski's group
Thumbnail

Job Board

This group is for posting jobs related to all aspects of the home performance industry including…See More
yesterday
Avi Yashchin posted a status
""Will Online Learning Replace the Classroom?" Read my full article on HuffPost. http://huff.to/1cNCOie"
yesterday
Profile IconTerrell, Jennifer Schenk, Amina Lang and 3 more joined Home Energy Pros
yesterday
Patrick MacRoy commented on Melissa Ulbricht's blog post How to Optimize On-Bill Financing to Help Illinois Building Owners Invest in Energy Efficiency
"Many of these recommended improvements are included the Clean Energy Jobs bill recently introduced…"
yesterday
Susan E. Buchan posted a status
"EEBA 2015 Conference Call for Papers extended! New deadline: 3/6/15 at 5 PM CT Submission details: www.eeba.org/conference/call-for-papers"
yesterday
Casey Gesell replied to Casey Gesell's discussion Looking for home improvement companies to join our dealer network!
"Hi Patrick, What is your time frame for relocating? Would you be interested in operating in the…"
yesterday

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service