Energy Awareness Month: It Ain’t Got That Zing

Posted by Energy Wire on October 17, 2010 at 10:43 AM

October is National Popcorn Month and National Book Month.
Oh, yeah. It’s National Energy Awareness Month, too.

We’ll get you back to your popcorn and your book in just a minute. For now, let’s analyze why National Energy Awareness Month is so borrrring, and what can be done about it.

Greentech Enterprise offers three recommendations to inject some sizzle.

1.  Change the date. Electricity bills drop significantly in October, and most folks are settling into routines of work and school, rather than focusing on energy savings. Using a month like October, when only minor savings are likely, is a tough sell. A better choice would be a high demand month, like January or July.

2.  Change the focus. Rather than pushing consumer purchases like new EnergyStar appliances, utilities should market home energy audits, rebates, and tax breaks for retrofits. Or host a series of neighborhood meetings about how to save energy in the home, as suggested by a recent survey.

3.  Change the tone. Make energy awareness more fun. Studies have found that less than 10 percent of people engage with their smart thermostats – perhaps because it’s seen as complicated. So set up demonstrations that show people how easy it is, and help them to make the most of a smart thermostat. Then offer a rebate to further entice a purchase.

And see this related post for more about the communication styles that motivate people to make home energy improvements.

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