What is the Consumer Attitude towards Energy Efficiency Products & Services

Much has been written in recent times on consumer attitudes towards investing in energy efficiency retrofits, a recent GTM article http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Can-Home-Energy-Efficie... does hit the nail on the head. 

Share your own experiences; is differentiating between investing in Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy a perception problem and a communication issue. in your experience do customers receive real financial benefits post their Energy Efficiency investments. 

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Comment by Bradley Wiesneth on April 23, 2013 at 10:58am

I have to somewhat agree with Robert.  And although grateful to receive the assistance and monetary savings, as Robert stated, a lot of the customers we work with don't understand the energy saving measures that they cannot see (insulation, airsealing, etc.).  A lot of times, they are only interested in the things they can see (new windows, doors, furnaces, etc.).  I think a lot of this is due to the heavy marketing that has been done by window retailers, manufacturers, and big box stores through the years to convince people that all new windows will get them huge savings.  Unfortunately, those new windows sometimes take up to 20 years just to pay for themselves, let alone start saving big money!  I used to work for one of the big window manufacturers, and although it was a high quality product we were selling, replacing one piece of glass with another piece of glass, is only going to give you minimal savings.  On the other hand, blowing R50 cellulose into an attic (after airsealing!), that has little or no existing insulation, costs a fraction of the price of all new windows, and will get you big savings.  No matter how tough of a task it is to talk our customers through these hard to see energy saving measures, it's up to us as energy conservation professionals to properly educate or re-educate those customers who don't understand the whole house approach of energy savings in their homes.  I agree with Bijou in that we need to find a way to give our customers the warm and fuzzies.  We need to make the unseen measures and whole house approach appealing, because let's face it.....unless you are energy geeks like us, having sixteen inches of cellulose blown over a sealed wet wall is not all that glamorous. Only when homeowners start to see and understand that it's the hard to see measures saving them the biggest money, will airsealing and insulation start to become the measures customers want.         

Comment by Bijou Lulla on April 22, 2013 at 7:51am

Robert people don't buy an iPhone for the gee whiz technology, they buy if for what it makes the 'feel' and what it 'enables' them to do. 

So also with Solar Energy; installing solar panels in your backyard is either a kind of cultural expression or a utility - "helps me reduce my bills". 

EE has to stop focusing on the technical aspects and focus more on the consumer friendly communication. Most consumers don't understand technology and even  worse they don't want to understand technology.  

I consult companies on their marketing and sales strategies; if you need any direction do give me a shout at Bijou.Lulla@yoursolarsalesman.com. 

Good luck! 

Comment by Robert D York Jr on April 21, 2013 at 6:58am

What I see is that people are grateful about the financial help that they get in paying for the measures done, but, they kinda glaze over if you try to get technical. I try very hard to get the customer involved in the projects I'm doing on their homes. Let's face it, it's not like installing cabinets that they can see. Our work goes unseen most of the times. The vast majority of homeowners I work for have no clue about CFMs and ACHs, and truthfully, I don't think they care. They want to see reductions in their bills.

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