Energy Foundation’s BRIM Report Conclusion: Support Efficiency First

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Efficiency First LogoFrom an Energy Foundation Building Retrofit and Industry Market (BRIM) Initiative report:

We agree that contractors should be a part of all major residential energy efficiency discussions and initiatives, which can be accomplished in large part by more frequently giving Efficiency First a seat at the table.

This should be obvious. And yet time and time again, contractors are a mere afterthought in residential energy efficiency discussions. They are typically not at the table during discussions (because they weren’t invited), they are not represented on the boards of the the NGOs promoting energy efficiency (because they weren’t invited), they are not pulled into the meetings to discuss how to improve and scale deployment. This is true at the national, state, local, and utility level. Ironically, the Expert Roundtable that generated the original BRIM report didn’t include any contractors! (The subsequent vetting of the report by consultants, did.)

Efficiency First has done an amazing job over the last four years raising awareness and fundamentally changing the nature of many policy discussions. And this has been done on a shoestring. There is so much more to do, and Efficiency First deserves our support. Policies and programs simply will not succeed without a stronger contractor voice from the earliest conceptual discussions straight through implementation and evaluation. Have no doubt, the collective voice is stronger than the individual company speaking up too late. We have so much more to do to make sure that programs and policies consider the market, and the contractor-consumer interface is where the market moves, in every discussion.

This is not news. And I’m certainly not alone in beating this drum for years. Many individuals have been saying it. It was the conclusion of the Driving Demand for Home Energy Improvements report. It was a conclusion drawn from the zillions spent on the Better Buildings program (see Better Buildings Neighborhoods Lessons Learned Presentation). Efficiency First has been doing something about it. But they need your support. That means dollars and that means time. Give both. Today.


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About the Author:

Mike Rogers is the President of OmStout Consulting. A nationally recognized expert in residential energy-efficiency, he works with contractors and programs to scale sustainable market approaches to improving homes. More on Google+

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