New Guide to Winning Messages on Energy Efficiency

October 7, 2015

Americans love energy efficiency. Poll after poll shows that overwhelming majorities of Americans have positive feelings about energy efficiency. So why aren’t there more policies in place to support this popular clean energy strategy?

We’ve got some ideas for how to bridge that gap between public support and smart policies. That’s why we’ve developed a new guide to with research-driven tips to help drive smart energy efficiency messaging, imagery, and outreach.

Making the Case: Winning Messaging for Energy Efficiency is a how-to on crafting messages and strategies that overcome the communications barriers identified through public opinion research, so we can leverage Americans’ positive views of energy efficiency to advance policy and programs.

Drawing on recent focus groups, polls and other research, we chart a path to promote energy efficiency through language and imagery, in ways that tap public enthusiasm. And it’s easy to digest, with bite-sized sections, so you can start using it immediately.


Here’s a sneak preview. The rules of smart energy efficiency messaging fall into a few general categories:

  • Start personal. Lead with stories of people who have invested in energy efficiency and are reaping the benefits, before getting into policies and programs.
  • Get concrete. When talking about cost savings and statistics, the more specific the better—such as what individual homeowners or businesses will save on their bills.
  • Understand your audience. To get them to take action, you need to understand as much as possible up front about your target audience—what are their values, motivations, concerns and beliefs?
  • Lead with the right messenger. Research shows that the most compelling, trusted messengers are those with no financial motivations to talk about efficiency.

Hungry for more? There’s plenty to chew on, including messaging tips, connecting to the Clean Power Plan, how to pick the best images, and our research sources. Check it out!

Aileo Weinmann