Shedding new light on energy efficiency

March 4, 2015

When you do a Google image search on energy efficiency, what comes up? You guessed it – a whole lot of CFL light bulbs. Our current visual vocabulary for energy efficiency is woefully inadequate for the task of inspiring Americans to save energy.

Good visuals are essential to successful outreach and communication in today’s media landscape. Just look at your Facebook feed and it’s apparent that pictures, memes and videos are taking over the way we share and receive information. And for good reason. Human beings are visual creatures – more than 60 percent of our brain is devoted to visual processing. Study after study has shown that visuals are much more effective than words alone in stoking people’s emotions.

Which brings me back to energy efficiency imagery. The images used to convey energy efficiency tend to be devoid of emotion, technical and abstract. If we want to get people excited about energy efficiency, we need to be doing a better job connecting with people through smarter use of imagery.

But what types of energy efficiency imagery really connect?

Resource Media recently completed four-day online focus groups with homeowners and renters in urban centers to assess reactions to images and videos related to energy efficiency.

We found that imagery can be very effective in getting people excited, curious, angry, and even a little skeptical. Resource Media’s new report, “Beyond the CFL: Winning Imagery for Energy Efficiency” is a good primer on images that trigger emotions and inspire people to want to save energy.

We plan to continue to refine our knowledge and thinking about energy efficiency imagery. Stay tuned to this blog for announcements of upcoming webinars on effective energy efficiency imagery.

Got an awesome energy efficiency image to share? Email me!

Debbie Slobe