Leaders of the carbon reduction effort in Boulder, Colorado, want to jump start energy efficiency improvements among homeowners by going door-to-door
Many homeowners have at least considered weatherizing and otherwise improving the energy efficiency of their homes. But for a variety of reasons (I’ve got my list of excuses right here) they haven’t managed to cross the threshold into action.
That is the thinking behind a plan proposed by ClimateSmart in Boulder, Colorado, where the initiative’s officials are looking for ways to encourage citizens to embrace energy efficiency not only philosophically but in very material, practical ways.
On Thursday, according to a recent story published by the Daily Camera, CimateSmart will ask the Boulder City Council to fund a program that would enable ClimateSmart technicians to go door-to-door, perform on-the-spot energy audits in the homes of those who are receptive, then offer to schedule city-approved contractors to make the recommended improvements.
A clearer, faster way
Eventually, the techs might even be able to help arrange financing, right then and there, for prospective customers who want it.
The idea, in other words, is to apply the concept of efficiency to the marketing of ClimateSmart’s greenhouse-gas reduction program, shrinking the breathing room between theoretical support for sustainable behavior, the results of an audit, and the opportunity to address whatever deficiencies the audit reveals.
Informally known as “two techs and a truck,” the new plan dovetails with the notion that a combination of expertise, personal contact, and convenience can go a long way toward breaking down barriers to action.
The Daily Camera cites a passage in the book “Fostering Sustainable Behavior,” by Doug McKenzie-Mohr, that focuses on the reasons large-scale information campaigns often aren’t successful at changing consumer behavior.
“Is it warranted to believe that by enhancing knowledge, or altering attitudes, behavior will change? Apparently not,” he writes, highlighting research that supports his view. ClimateSmart’s proposed plan is at least partially a response to similar findings in other markets nationally where only 10% to 15% of households that received energy audits made energy efficiency improvements.
As long as two techs and a truck doesn’t feel too much like a hard sell, it seems the program could improve those percentages considerably.
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