STOP Talking about "Energy Efficiency" and Increase Program Participation

After months of research, interviews, and data analysis, we learned that the topic we’re marketing highly depends on context in order to resonate with customers. The misperceptions around “energy efficiency” are so great that people either stop listening, delete, or move on when they hear the term used in a general context. 5Reasons (1) Overall, customers associate the term “energy efficiency” with an expensive upfront cost and a long and uncertain payback period. (Now we understand why they’re not interested!) This perception is legitimate once you understand that the majority of customers correlate “energy efficiency” with products and technology. They immediately see it as an investment. And in a lot of cases, an investment that is out of their reach.

By using the term “energy efficiency” in the wrong context, you are most likely experiencing a high drop off in customer interest. When using it in the right context, it can both increase customer interest and even drive purchase.

Check out five of our research takeaways below, and reach out if you’d like more information, deep consumer insights on the topic, and what actually inspires customers to take action.

1. Energy Efficiency is rarely top of mind across commercial and residential audiences. For some, it's not even on the radar.

  • 69% of research participants state they find themselves adapting to inefficiencies in their homes and/or businesses rather than seeking solutions.
  • 10% state they do not have inefficiencies/inconveniences in their homes and/or businesses.

2. The money customers think they have to spend (to participate in energy efficiency programs) outweighs what they think they could save.

  • 98% of research participants correlate "energy efficiency" with an expensive, upfront cost.

3. Energy Efficiency is associated with products/technology, and therefore a longer payback period.

  • 83% of research participants correlate "energy efficiency" with a long and uncertain payback period.

4. People are quick to embrace the bigger benefits of energy savings when presented with them - comfort, productivity and stability.

  • 88% of research participants state the non-financial benefits of energy efficiency would motivate them to make improvements/upgrades to their homes and/or businesses.

5. ESCO's continue to push into the market, drawing away the attention from utilities.

  • 92% of research participants state the lack of an energy and cost reduction guarantee as one of their top three barriers to energy efficiency program participation.