Utility companies are not selling products that improve home energy efficiency like they should. Even though there are specific programs to achieve that goal, customers have been relatively few and far between.
Customer-funded programs are run by utility companies to encourage homeowners to buy products that are energy efficient. They charge each customer a small amount, and use the sum to sell their electricity-saving products.
That’s why it’s surprising that even after $7bn has been spent on customer-funded programs, only 20% of US citizens were aware of the low-interest loans, rebates and cash incentives that can come with buying energy efficient products. Sales pitches for these products tend to focus around how much money the consumer can save, and how they will positively impact the environment by focusing on home energy efficiency.
And yet, no one is buying it.
Nate Adams, in an article for GreenTechMedia, explores the reasons why consumers aren’t buying what utility companies are selling.
After years in sales and a new insulation contracting business, he knows what consumers want, and it’s not even a sales pitch about how much money they can save.
He argues that consumers will spend as much money as they need to as long as their needs are being met. What are these needs?
The big one is comfort. Medical problems like asthma and frequent illnesses can be exacerbated if homes are not sealed correctly, letting in drafts and potentially irritating airborne particles.
Customers also don’t realize that new appliances only save money if other improvements to home energy efficiency are made as well. New insulation and air sealing are key to controlling the temperature, which saves energy but also gives homeowners control of their own comfort.
By getting to know customers and taking the time to understand what their goals at home are, it instantly becomes easier to sell to them because the pitch is now individualized.
If you’re someone who cares about the environment, a sales pitch based on helping the environment may be a slam dunk. But what about people who don’t really care in the first place? We need to reach these potential customers for the big goals to get realized. It’s one more rung on the ladder that leads to a world that runs on clean energy.