When Selling Energy Efficiency, Don’t Say ‘Retrofit,’ Say ‘Upgrade’

October 27th, 2010 - Posted by RESNET under Hot Topics, Job Opportunities, Recovery Through Retrofit, RESNET News, RESNET Notes, RESNET Notes - October 2010

The New York Times reported that according to a recent study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that the truisms of “Give the people what they want,” “Know your customer,”and “Make it easy to do the right thing” works.

For starters, the researchers said, don’t offer “audits” or “retrofits” — customers shy away from the negative connotations. Instead try offering “energy assessments” and “upgrades,” but focus messaging on health benefits, improved comfort, community pride or other benefits that consumers tend to care more about. Other suggestions included working with trusted local partners, minimizing the paperwork and hassles that customers face, and following the marketing rule of thumb that it takes three “touches” to convince most people that something is worth buying into.

The study examined fourteen home efficiency programs that the authors felt were successful, including one by the Bonneville Power Administration in the Pacific Northwest and efforts in Houston, Minneapolis, Kansas, Boston, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

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  • Jim Boone

    What home efficiency program from Kansas was considered “successful”?

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