Close your eyes: visualizing energy efficiency

July 22, 2014

I have an exercise for you. In a second, I want you to close your eyes and tell me the first image that comes to mind when you think about energy efficiency.

OK, go ahead.

What popped into your head? Was it, by chance, a CFL light bulb? Maybe someone turning down the thermostat or blowing insulation into an attic?

Pretty exciting stuff.. .right?

When you consider that people are visual first, and verbal second, and the power of imagery to inspire and motivate, it’s a little disconcerting to discover our visual vocabulary for energy efficiency is so, well, lame.

For the last four years, Resource Media has been working with cities, nonprofits and others to help advance energy efficiency policies and practices. We are unabashedly bullish on energy efficiency as the smartest, cheapest and cleanest way to meet America’s growing energy needs.

But while we love, love, love energy efficiency, we have to admit, it wasn’t because of its stunning good looks.

Isn’t it time we change that? The fact remains that as energy efficiency advocates, we have all of the data in the world on our side when it comes to the upsides of energy efficiency, but data alone just isn’t cutting it.

If we want people to fall hard for energy efficiency and get as enthusiastic about it as they do for solar and wind, then we need smart visuals that make an emotional connection and help tell the story of energy efficiency’s many benefits.

At Resource Media, we’re on the hunt for some emotionally-compelling visuals to help tell the energy efficiency story. Our goal is to develop a visual vocabulary for our favorite energy resource (the energy you never use!).

You can help! Below are two ways you can help us with our energy efficiency imagery research:

  1. Send us any images you are currently using or have seen in use to convey energy efficiency.
  2. Offer up any additional ideas for visuals we should test via the comments section below.

Over the next several months, we’ll be testing a range of visual strategies for telling the energy efficiency story, and we look forward to sharing what we learn later this year. In the meantime, be in touch with your ideas and suggestions!

Amy Frykman