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Awareness Alters Consumer Behavior

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Nevelyn Black's picture
Writer, Independent

Nevelyn Black is an independent writer with a background in broadcast and a keen interest in renewable energy.  In the last few years, she transitioned from celebrity interviews and film shoots...

  • Member since 2017
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  • Jul 16, 2022

 From elementary school programs to small business owner initiatives, utilities are working hard to educate and encourage consumers to be more energy efficient.  Awareness is directly linked to altering customer behavior, therefore, educating the customer is crucial. 

Commentary by energy efficiency experts on the International Energy Agency (IEA) site, stressed the importance of clear and effective messaging.  'A campaign is more likely to succeed when the messages and narratives are targeted, relatable, actionable and in the correct tone.  For example, humor has the potential to ‘go viral’ while a more serious tone could appeal to people’s emotions.'  These are common tactics in marketing and promotions and should be applied here too.

On a grassroots level, many utilities have programs like Dominion Energy’s Conservation Education Program.  Programs that educate elementary school students on energy conservation and using natural gas safely.

A tiny home in the quaint, college town of Aurora, New York hosts hands-on STEM activities related to energy efficiency and solar power.  The Cornell Cooperative Extension connects communities with research and visitors will learn about the thousands of dollars in grants and incentives available to them.

ComEd Energy, in Illinois, is creating greater awareness in the communities it serves through the company’s Energy Efficiency Service Provider Incubator program.  The program educates and trains industry business owners on ComEd's energy efficiency portfolio offerings.  "The Incubator program was really instrumental in allowing me networking opportunities and in putting me in front of major players in the energy-efficiency space," said Ramon Hayes, a 2019 Incubator program alumnus and business owner.  "It’s actually really simple. There is no way I would be doing the volume of business that I am doing, had I not gone through the Incubator program."  Upon graduation, contractors can join the EESP network and provide ComEd Energy Efficiency Program incentives to customers.  This also allows participants to grow their businesses and encourage more consumers to save energy. 

In the UK, households with smart meters and in-home displays, providing real-time consumption information, ended up using 1.5% less natural gas and 2.2% less electricity in 2011, compared with homes with conventional meters. Knowledge is power and, in this case, providing consumers with real-time information on energy use and efficiency programs will change their behavior and ultimately get results. 





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