Motivating EE: Taking a Human Approach to Energy Efficiency

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GreenBiz shares coverage on how we can make our communication on the value of energy efficiency more effective in their post, 5 Truths About Our Relationship to Energy:

“Energy efficiency programs continue to set increasingly ambitious savings targets. But the tactics taken to hit those targets are slow to evolve, and more often than not, programs are falling short. We’ve been working with clients for years to solve this problem, and we see a core underlying issue: typical efforts to promote energy efficiency focus narrowly on specific concerns — namely, saving money or receiving incentives.

“People just don’t really care about saving energy. How do we get them to care?” Does this sound familiar? Recent research (Ehrhardt Martinez et al 2010; Malone et al 2013) shows that, when it comes to using energy, consumption behaviors are rarely informed by rational, calculated information processing, such as saving costs or “doing the right thing.” Instead, they are rooted in largely unconscious motivations such as the need to feel safe, secure, accepted, loved, free, and in control. 

When discussing energy efficiency, many people find it hard to get past the word “efficiency” — which is often associated with deprivation, loss, or going without. Our task is to address these concerns directly and not skirt around them. If people bristle at the thought of “going without,” no matter how smart or informative a campaign is, it will come up against resistance — until we hit these realities head-on.”

For best practices and a new approach, learn more in coverage from GreenBiz.

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