“Paradoxical though it may seem, it doesn’t make sense for a campaign seeking broader consumer engagement on energy efficiency to focus on the environment.” So state the McKinsey consultant authors of an article “Giving US energy efficiency a jolt”.
I don’t think it seems paradoxical at all, but many utility and other energy-efficiency program folks would do well to take note. People have a wide variety of different motivators, and saving energy (or protecting the environment) isn’t the primary motivator for most. According to the authors, if you just beat the energy saving drum, you’ll hit about 20% of the population, but miss the other 80%. The would be a mistake. Most of the other 80% will buy energy efficiency if you give them the right reasons to. Their reasons, not yours.
Cold beer and hot showers. Comfortable bedrooms and less mold in the bathroom. Less dust. Less noise for outside. All these are among the many things people will pay for. And we can increase efficiency and save energy delivering those benefits. So let’s do it.