Thursday, February 07, 2013

Strong marketing is necessary for energy efficiency finance

Thursday, February 07, 2013
New England clean energy Council in Boston on November 29 titled monetizing was the savings through energy efficiency projects, the relationship between marketing and finance as a key issue that required further exploration in the industry.

"There was not much recording existing programs," said Martin Gitlin, Senior Advisor of Harcourt-Brown & Carey energy & finance. "The biggest obstacle is... What do convince to buy energy efficiency."

The panelists agreed that consumer reluctance to invest in energy efficiency makes it difficult for programs Government ambitious to achieve it. All of the strategies the panelists, how be effectively - municipal public relations, 1: 1-communication and intervention at the point of sale - require significant investment in marketing. This level of marketing goes far beyond the one-size fits all standard approaches some energy-efficiency programs.

"" If you build, they will come "does not work", said Angela Ferrante, Director of alternative energy solutions at energi. "The only way to get this marketed, is of people go out and hit the pavement and educating people about the program."

Claire Broido Johnson, head of new markets & services at next life, said that customers for programs to login to do when they hear a recommendation from a friend or trusted colleague. Next life participation in targeted, local public relations, because it his work extended this year.

Energy-efficiency programs have found it also difficult to develop compelling messages. Mark Barnett, co-Chair of the energy technologies & renewables group at Foley Hoag LLP, said the approaches that take organizations on the civilian market "Not keys, where people are interested in will hit."

In a separate interview, Kerry O'Neill, Senior Advisor at the agreed clean energy Finance Center, Gitlins comments. "Consumers don't care about energy. If you try to get a lot of shooting, try to break through, to be the noise of the hustle and bustle of customers."

In the last year involved an energy efficiency marketing task force, sponsored by the Housing Development Fund in Connecticut O'Neill. The task force was part of a multi-stakeholder planning process in Connecticut, developed in the State of the recommendations to strengthen the residential energy efficiency. O'Neill works together with Connecticut clean energy finance and investment authority (CEFIA), has a marketing plan assessed clean energy (C-PACE) for its commercial real estate program developed.

O'Neill's insights from participating in these projects have made it a strong advocate, the market improved. She said that driving consumer demand for each funding programme of vital importance. She stressed the value of budgeting for intensive marketing and public relations, which goes beyond advertising.

When you start a program, O'Neill said, it is important, the consumer demand three components - to coordinate worker capacity and capital requirements. Often, the consumer demand falls short.

Private customers: News and contractor

"Targeting customers based is marketing their demographic and psychographic profile of the normal way of life these days," said O'Neill. But this approach is not accessible yet marketing in the field of energy efficiency. Customers receive instead distributed mass, one-size fits all messages that often focus mostly to save yourself money. But not all consumers are motivated by money. Some are concerned about comfort, while others may react to a message from a trusted source or supplier.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of driving demand project examines some of these approaches to marketing and recommendations. The driving requirement report says providing information and funding is sufficient to promote the widespread adoption of energy efficiency. Retrofitting decision process simple, adjust messaging for public interest and must, offered a partnership with entrepreneurs and collaboration with trusted can strengthen marketing and public relations.

Merrian Balogun, one of the authors of the report, provided additional recommendations. "A lot of people not... see energy costs as a problem," she said. She added that a simple, clear message, working with trusted offered, and talk about the benefits that matter seem crucial to the promotion of energy efficiency.

Balogun said that use personal marketing program should, arouse interest of customers and talking about financing later. "She don't want a used car loan, if you want a used car. "If a customer wants something... but they have not the money comes, which is funding."

O'Neill said essential partnership with contractors for strong marketing. "Entrepreneurs are one of the most important marketing channels," she said. It recommends that co-branding materials with contractors.

Balogun said that her research supports the value of contractor sales training programs. She said, how contractor to communicate with private drive is vital for the success of the program.

Commercial customers: budgets and relationships

In the commercial and industrial market, energy efficiency is the finance motivating a greater role in investment as it largely does not. A piece of financial services in this sector however is a more complete picture that includes the intense personal marketing.

"A large focus of the CEFIA was... hard focus, what motivates the commercial property owners and the commercial real estate market," O'Neill said. This is harder than it may seem at first glance. To develop messages for each group of actors is a difficult and time-consuming process for individual interviews.

To sell energy to these actors is also time-consuming. It requires personal trust, working with peers and set professional associations and meetings with policy makers. "Each of these user groups is a potential conduit for deals and also for other contacts," said O'Neill.

Economic difficulties have made commercial builders financially conservative than she might otherwise be. Financing is an important part of a strong marketing pitch for commercial and industrial customers. Building relationships with these customers, your questions answer and explain the financial terms of the energy efficiency programs are all important.

This story was originally published by the Energy Finance Center (CEFC) clean. You can subscribe future stories from the clean energy source for financial services by visiting the CEFC-news page.

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