CSE Experts to Present on Emerging Clean Energy Issues

Chuck Colgan's picture

CSE staff are presenting topics that represent our role as leaders in sustainable energy market transformation at the Behavior, Energy and Climate Change (BECC) Conference, Oct. 18-21, 2015, Hyatt Regency Sacramento. Our experts will be sharing:

  • Research on how third-party owned residential solar impacts home sales
  • Efforts to expand electric vehicle adoption in disadvantaged communities
  • Top ten best ways to engage shoppers about energy and water efficiency
  • How Energy Upgrade California® has integrated messaging in local communities
  • Development of best practices for residential HVAC alterations permit compliance
  • How “clever” content about energy efficiency better “sticks” with consumers and changes energy habits
  • Activating community-based organizations to engage in grassroots energy education and actions


Expanding Electric Vehicle Access
Georgina Arreola, Research Analyst

There are gaps in adoption of electric vehicles in disadvantaged communities (DACs) and CSE is striving to increase awareness of EV technologies and resources available in these areas via the California Air Resources Board’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. The focus will be on the structural and programmatic changes implemented within the program to improve its targeted outreach in DAC communities, including work on ARB-funded pilot projects aimed at directly benefitting DACs as well as the suite of tools and resources created and supported by CSE.

Top Ten Best Practices to Engage & Educate Shoppers at Retail
Mitch Moore, Manager Marketing & Outreach, Energy Upgrade California

All vendors and retailers are competing for consumer’s attention at brick-and-mortar stores. Retail is an exciting place to be, but the challenge is simple: how do you break through all the activity in-store to get your energy education message across to busy shoppers and meet the retailer’s needs? Energy Upgrade California created a list of the Top Ten Best Practices that are easy to understand, implement and activate no matter if you are working with national, regional or local retailers.

Understanding Motivations and Barriers of Small Business Decision Makers: A More Effective Approach to Developing Targeted Communications
Pamela Wellner, Senior Outreach Manager, Statewide Marketing, Education and Outreach

While small business decision makers [SBDMs] are more deeply enmeshed in their firm’s activities, research has shown that except for a few energy intensive sectors, improving energy management ranks low. The Center for Sustainable Energy and Greenberg Inc. have partnered to help increase SBDM energy savings by using a new approach to audience segmentation research. To create a deeper understanding of SBDMs, Greenberg developed an emotion and attitude-based segmentation, which defines intuitive, actionable targets around focused drivers of energy management. By using motivations, barriers and receptivity as primary filters, the segmentation identifies and helps prioritize clearly defined targets to sharpen communication and ultimately engagement. Building on past success with residential audiences, CSE is deploying the new segmentation in the Energy Upgrade California program to deliver higher engagement energy management communications to small businesses.

A Qualitative Assessment of TPO System Impacts on the Home Sales Process
Timothy Treadwell, Director of Engineering, Research & Analysis

Third-party owned (TPO) solar has grown to dominate the residential market in California’s large investor-owned utilities, representing over 60% of installations since the model emerged in 2009. The growth of TPO solar has been a boon for the industry, opening new segments of the market and spurring overall growth in the sector; however, questions remain about the challenges TPO agreements may present, particularly when it comes to selling homes and transferring the liability of a long-term contract – issues critical to the success of the model in the long run. Our research begins to shed light on these issues through surveys and interviews with key stakeholders (homebuyers, sellers, real estate agents) involved in 107 home transactions in San Diego County where TPO solar was present.

Integrated Marketing Campaign to Motivate Consumer to Manage Their Energy Use
Jeff Blanton, Brand Manager, Statewide Marketing, Education & Outreach

The Energy Upgrade California® campaign budget wasn’t large enough to sustain a paid and earned media campaign that would provide the sufficient coverage to motivate large numbers of people to take action. A modified campaign, including traditional outreach tactics along with several others, was designed to connect the campaign with local communities and with steps to action. These tactics provide greater authenticity for the brand and include mobile and community outreach, community and retail partnerships, youth education and local governments and community organizations. This direction to the campaign delivers a step-down communication process where messages are communicated by a more familiar messenger, which increases its memorability and actions.

Poster Presentations

Can Clever Content Create Energy Action?
Mitch Moore, Manager Marketing & Outreach, Energy Upgrade California

Energy Upgrade California launched its Mobile Education Outreach initiative in May 2015. The strategy is to use clever, creative “sticky” content that the visitor did not know and would stick with them longer than a typical energy tips or facts. The intent is to test if this new content “stuck with visitors” after they engaged with the displays and more importantly if this caused people to change their energy habits.

State perceptions vs. local realities – Best practices for residential HVAC alterations permit compliance
Marissa Spata, Project Manager, Building Performance

Permit compliance rates for residential HVAC alterations in California are estimated at < 10%. We undertook a 14-month study including surveys and working groups with stakeholders across Southern California to identify barriers to compliance as perceived by building departments and contractors and recommend best practices that streamline the permit process and increase compliance rates.

Utilizing Community Based Organizations for Energy Education and Action
Lauri Walker, Community Ambassadors Manager, Statewide Marketing, Education & Outreach

In an effort to reach Californians in hard to reach communities with energy saving messages, Energy Upgrade California partnered with 75 community-based organizations (CBOs) statewide during 2014-15. As a trusted community resource, CBOs are able to engage, encourage and assist others in their communities to reduce their energy use and save money in ways that community outsiders cannot.