COMMUNICATING ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Changing the way we think about and use energy is a key part of addressing climate change. The resources in this collection offer guidance on how to connect with people around energy efficiency and build support for reducing our consumption and using renewable sources.

 

Collection Resources

George Mason University joined together with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to get Maryland residents’ opinions on climate change and their attitudes towards current or proposed policies.

 

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The impacts of climate change was once thought of as a future threat, we are now seeing the effects everyday from forest fires, flooding, extreme weather, and severe droughts. The updated guide provides insights on clean energy and carbon solution messages to build stronger communities.

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Over the past decade the clean energy industry in America has increased significantly. Currently there are more then 2.5 million Americans working in the clean energy and energy transport. Energy efficiency has become one of the largest sectors in all 50 states making one in every three people working in clean energy.

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Americans support the idea of energy efficiency, but this enthusiasm doesn’t always translate into policy solutions. How can communicators illustrate that energy efficiency is an urgent need? How can organizations move individuals from interest to action?

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If Americans broadly support energy efficiency, why are related policies and programs lagging behind current attitudes? Recent research indicates it is ranked a lower priority compared to solar, wind, natural gas and more. This tip sheet summarizes current beliefs, challenges and framing considerations around advancing energy efficiency efforts across the United States.

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Resource Media conducted research with homeowners and renters in urban centers to assess reactions to images and videos related to energy efficiency. They found that imagery focused on people and simple actions they are taking to save energy can make energy efficiency very personal and inspire people to want to do things to save energy in their homes.

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The Harris Poll of 2,221 adults, surveyed online between February 11 and 17, 2015 has found that a majority of Americans – albeit a diminishing one – say they turn off lights, televisions or other appliances when not in use in order to improve energy efficiency at home.

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Efforts to promote energy efficiency enjoy overwhelming support among key political demographics, according to a poll by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The national survey among 1,000 likely voters clearly illustrates broad support for energy efficiency.

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The Demand Institute surveyed more than 10,000 households about their current living situation and what’s important to them in a home. The survey found that most people want energy efficient homes, and few are satisfied with their home's efficiency.

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The surveys of views on environmental regulations in five key electoral and presidential battleground states were conducted December 9-16, 2014 among likely 2016 voters in five states: Colorado, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire and Virginia.

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Tips for how communicators can use visuals to illustrate energy efficiency through effective imagery.

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Six years after Maryland implemented ambitious targets for reducing energy use, George Mason University surveyed residents on their opinions towards renewable energy and got a big thumbs up for renewable power.

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A choose-your-own-adventure infographic from the WRI that lays out the consequences of emissions scenarios from the IPCC AR5.

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An overview of opportunities for equitable access to energy efficienct and clean energy prospects across the U.S. that includes state-by-state details.

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A series of infographics from The Solutions Project outlining the different mix of renewable power sources that will power each state in the United States with 100% renewable energy. 

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This guide provides a look at the current energy situation, compares alternative sources of energy, and considers pros and cons of three different approaches to improving energy. 

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An examination of the relationship between energy efficiency adoption rates and business performance, organizational perspectives, non-energy benefits, and human behavior.

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A presentation of results from the Kukui Cup, a competition among University of Hawaii undergrads to conserve and learn about energy through game mechanics. 

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A study of appealing to kinship as a method to promote future conservation finds that people are more willing to self-sacrifice for an environmental cause if they foresee benefits for their own children, as opposed to future generations in general.

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An employee sustainability survey that tracks changes in green engagement practices from 2009-2011 finds that organizations are increasingly engaging employees in sustainability efforts, but few sustainability programs are shown to be effective. Smaller nonprofits and organizations that collect data and elicit employee feedback are found to be the best performers.

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An article using the "rebound effect" theory to explain why increasing energy efficiency does not translate into decreased energy consumption.

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A report presenting detailed airline efficiency rankings, an examination of the five key drivers of energy efficiency, and an analysis of economic and environmental benefits of the past decade's fuel efficiency improvements.

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Two presentations on the imperative for both technology and people-centered programs to improve energy efficiency as well as Americans' energy beliefs and practices.

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A short article reporting on the findings of a poll that shows that most Americans have a poor perception of how to save energy and often overlook efficiency as the most effective means of reducing consumption.

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While Americans are ready for energy efficiency policies, renewables, and climate preparedness, communicators need to be careful with how they talk about energy sources, because the public still sees the need for increased fossil fuel extraction.

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