How to spur home energy upgrades? Persuasive assessment reports

How to spur home energy upgrades? Persuasive assessment reports

By Dr. Reuven Sussman, Senior Research Manager, Behavior & Human Dimensions Program

In a world of 280-character tweets, people have limited attention spans. So to nudge them toward making energy efficiency upgrades, home assessment reports need to grab their attention in the first few pages, according to ACEEE research that evaluated the eye-tracking habits of potential customers.“Customers stop reading after about four or five pages” said one assessor. Experts in graphic design, behavioral science, and energy efficiency assessment reviewed 42 sample reports with the goal of improving the reports and increasing the number of home upgrades.

Almost nine million households were assessed as of 2015, but the reports can be difficult to understand or unpersuasive.Expert comments reflected ACEEE’s findings from the eye-tracking study. Information presented first receives more attention, regardless of how interesting or important it is. Reports should begin with a personalized narrative summary along with key tables to ensure the customer can quickly make an informed decision. Interested customers can always look in the back of the report or an appendix for more details…

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