Stop Selling Energy Efficiency. People and Business don’t want it

‘Energy Efficiency’ isn’t sexy, nor is ‘saving energy’; one sounds technical and difficult and the other sounds like you are a miser. I’ve heard a number of titbits recently that makes me realise there another part of the story to help get more buy-in from customers.

Here are a few quotes I’ve paraphrased to set the scene.

“People inherently view the Australian star rating on fridges as an indicator of the quality and it works so much better than in the US where they show the yearly dollar savings.” Rob Murray-Leach, Energy Efficiency Council

“Our vision for the factory is that it will be cool and quiet, then we’ll know it’s highly efficient.” Craig Morgan, Northmore Gordon

“We stopped selling the savings and efficiency of double glazing, LED lighting, good insulation and high efficiency heat pumps. Instead we talk about high quality apartments, which are highly liveable and very comfortable.” Rory Martin, Fraser Properties

Put simply, those of us in the industry should start talking much more about the quality that results from energy efficiency. People desire quality . Classical Economic theory says that people are rational and they aim to maximise utility; to get the best value for money. But, people don’t want something that’s cheap and saves them money, they want something that’s the best they can afford that improves their lives.

 

So back to energy efficiency.

  •  LED Lighting really is superior to traditional lighting, it lasts much longer, degrades very slowly over time and can be manufactured in a wide range of colour temperatures.
  •  Buildings with a good thermal envelope, good insulation, low-e double glazed windows, and high thermal mass are so much more comfortable to live in.
  • Temperatures change slowly and you don’t end up with hot or cold areas, draughts, or noise from outside.
  • Buildings with good HVAC control systems maintain consistent temperatures, are nice to work in, and hence again are less wasteful.
  • Producing high quality in a consistent fashion involves carefully monitoring all inputs so it is the same each time, and nearly always, this minimises waste (energy, water, raw materials) and adds to the bottom line of the business.
  • Equipment that is well-maintained lasts longer, performs better and cost less to run over its lifetime.

The list goes on, but the underlying premise is that a higher focus on quality outcomes is a great way to frame energy efficiency for customers – and perhaps without even needing to mention the technical, complex and thrifty things that only the more cost-focused amongst us think about. It’s potentially a way to engage to a much broad group of people in businesses as well as with the public. They may not care about saving money or the planet, but most people do want the best quality they can experience.