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: 777

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

Aaren Stewart posted a discussion

Let's solve this HVAC quiz!!!

Answer these three simple problems of your HVAC systems, let's see how much you know your system…See More
2 hours ago
Chris Laumer-Giddens posted a blog post

Mini-Split Heat Pumps are Quirky, Especially their Capacity

Mini-Split Heat Pumps are Quirky and Still EffectiveThe name "mini-splits" generally refers to heat…See More
11 hours ago
Jan Green posted an event

Solar Course for Appraisers at SRP's Pera Club

November 13, 2014 to November 14, 2014
"As the US continues to search for energy alternatives, properties improved with solar PV…See More
11 hours ago
Hal Skinner replied to Hal Skinner's discussion What an RCC can do with no R- insulation in the walls.
"Just like paint.  RFoller and brush or strong airless sprayer.  It has the consistency of…"
14 hours ago
Hal Skinner replied to Hal Skinner's discussion What an RCC can do with no R- insulation in the walls.
"ty and thermal emission leveld of many materials including bricks and white paint.  They do…"
15 hours ago
Hal Skinner added a discussion to the group The RCC Classroom (Radiant Control Coatings)
Thumbnail

Walmart goes green in Texas

We applied cour RCC to 5 Walmart superstores in Texas.  Worked great and they wanted it.  Then they…See More
15 hours ago
Kim Tanner replied to Trip Smith's discussion Where to spend my marketing dollars?
"Direct mail doesn't do very much, in my opinion, unless you have awesome coupons! Honestly,…"
15 hours ago
Hal Skinner replied to Hal Skinner's discussion What an RCC can do with no R- insulation in the walls.
"Mornn Trip and Bud, In this case all I can do is report it exactly as it was told to me.  I…"
16 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service