Trust Your Neighbors

Written by: Bobby Veit on Dec 6th 2011
Trust Your Neighbors

It’s been a liitle over a year since I was hired to run to the Energize program.  In that time I’ve spoken to literally hundreds of homeowners looking to reduce energy waste, save money on energy bills and make their homes more comfortable.  So why then are many homeowners still waiting to get going?  After all, for most New York homeowners, a comprehensive energy assessment is absolutely free and qualified upgrade work comes with a guaranteed 10% (or greater) cash back rebate from the state.

Well, with a year’s worth of experience under my belt, I’m now confident to say that it mostly boils down to trust. Can we REALLY BELIEVE in the promise of reduced savings and increased comfort?  Next to selecting a contractor this is the single biggest concern people have.  So how then do we move people from where they are to the promised land of reduced energy waste, cost savings and increased comfort? Not to boast, but we think we have the answer.

To understand our approach you have to go back to the words of a former president who once said “TRUST BUT VERIFY.”  While most homeowners want to believe the promise of energy savings they most certainly do not want to be taken for a sucker.

So how do we help them take that leap of faith?  Trust and verfication is how. People are way more likley to believe a message of comfort and savings from someone they know and trust.  They want to hear it from their friends, neighbors, local leaders and others who’ve already had their homes upgraded. People who can say “I’ve had the work done, this is how it went down and here are the results.”

In the spirit of that sensible approach, Energize has enlisted some of your neighbors to tell their stories and testify to the results.  We’re also working on a set of detailed homeowner case studies that will examine actual “before and after” energy use.  The study will show precisely how much individual homeowners saved in the year(s) following their home energy efficiency upgrade work.  They’ll also demonstrate how available low cost financing can make the improvements more than pay for themselves.  Stay tuned for those case studies in the new year.

In the meantime check out our website for homeowner testimonials, contractor selection tools and our roster of satisfied Energize homeowners.  Reach out to them directly. They’ll be happy to answer your questions, describe their experiences with the assessment and upgrade process, and tell you how their homes are now performing.

Get moving today on your assessment and upgrades before the worst of this year’s winter weather hits!!!

Tom Bregman, program director