Most residential energy efficiency programs eventually find themselves asking, how can we jump-start our outreach to get better results? Successful programs across the United States have used in-home events to make upgrade benefits visible by showcasing completed projects and actual results. Attending tours of upgraded homes—especially the homes of trusted neighbors and friends—allows potential customers to see and hear firsthand from satisfied customers, talk directly to the contractors who performed the work, and ask questions or sign up with program staff to start the upgrade process.
A few proven practices to making upgrade benefits visible include:
Show How Assessments Work
Energy Impact Illinois used “house parties” to build momentum for energy assessments and upgrades by leveraging the credibility of trusted neighbors who hosted contractors to show guests where energy was being wasted and explain ways to improve comfort while saving energy. Discover how Energy Impact Illinois Learned That Parties Sell Upgrades.
Hold House Tours
NOLA WISE (New Orleans, Louisiana Worthwhile Investments Save Energy) gave open house tours in the upgraded homes of happy clients. Signs throughout the house and the upgrade contractor highlighted the work that was completed and the associated energy savings.
Invite the Whole Neighborhood
In Jacksonville, Florida, Shop Smart with JEA fostered community awareness with the Home Energy Makeover: Block Party. Homeowners who contracted with a local energy professional to receive a home energy assessment offered to host block parties for their neighbors, and the energy professional reviewed the assessment and upgrade process, discussed rebate options, and answered questions from friends and neighbors who attended the parties.
Make Efficiency Personal
The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) provided demonstration tours in homes that completed upgrades in Chula Vista, California. Potential customers could learn about their neighbors' experiences, ask questions of the home performance professionals who installed the upgrades, and sign up for an energy assessment of their own home for less than $50.
Tell Me More
Discover more residential energy efficiency outreach tips by visiting the Marketing & Outreach – Develop Implementation Plans handbook for step-by-step instructions and program examples. Here you will find information on in-home outreach, as well as some of these other solutions:
- Conduct one-on-one outreach where people gather and help them take action right away
- Partner with organizations or individuals that customers already trust
Haven’t used the Residential Program Solution Center before? Get started here!