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New Normal

New Normal is supporting the development of market interventions that help create a new normal for the U.S. residential market where improved home energy performance becomes the expected and aspired-to standard in U.S. homes.

What Is New Normal?

Homeowners who make energy performance a top priority are more likely to invest in home energy performance. The New Normal project is tapping the power of social science to align influential powerful cultural influencers to motivate homeowners to act and make their homes more energy efficient, resulting in a significant uptick in the adoption of home energy upgrades, minimizing the carbon impact of U.S. homes while delivering on homeowner values like comfort, cost savings, and safety.

Why It Matters

Energy efficiency improvements are the top unmet demand in the U.S. residential market. Two-thirds of American consumers consider home energy performance a top priority, yet almost half have done nothing to improve it, and the overall rate of U.S. residential energy performance improvements has decreased over recent years. Surveys show that over two-thirds of Americans say they want an efficient home, but only about one-third are satisfied with their home's current levels of energy performance. This represents the largest satisfaction gap in any demanded home feature, indicating a major untapped opportunity.

Who’s Involved?

We're working with companies and organizations who help shape a customer's relationship with home energy performance including mainstream media, contractors, real estate professionals, and other industry influencers.

What We’re Doing

RMI is deploying several types of market interventions that leverage major industry touch-points with homeowners and apply behavioral insights in order to expand the sources of motivation for energy upgrade investments and make these investments a priority for homeowners, including:

  • Mainstream Media Engagement: Working with popular television programs like Property Brothers and other mainstream customer-focused channels to integrate clean energy storylines into popular narratives and make clean energy more conversational, relatable, and desirable
  • Contractor Engagement: Empowering contractors to better engage with homeowners and promote energy upgrade services by using a suite of online and in-person tactics
  • Realtor Engagement: Empowering realtors to better promote the benefits of improved energy performance and increase demand among their buyer and seller clients for energy upgrades
  • Broader Industry Engagement: Publishing and leveraging leading social science and customer research to arm industry partners like service providers, educators, and marketing agencies to compel homeowners to both think differently about their home’s energy performance and take action

Our Partners

Building Performance Institute

Partner

National Association of Realtors

Partner

National Environmental Education Foundation

Partner

The Noorda Foundation

Partner

Participant Media

Partner

Resources

Report

Peer Diffusion: Unlocking Investments in Energy Upgrades, 2016

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Checklist

Peer Diffusion: A step-by-step checklist for service providers, 2017

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Infographic

Home Heroes: Better Homes and Better Value Through Home Energy Performance, 2016

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Blog

Sold! Why Understanding Home Energy Performance Will Become a Key to Real Estate Success, 2017

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Blog

Thou Shalt Covet Thy Neighbor's Home Energy Upgrade, 2016

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Blog

How to Use Peer Diffusion to Make Better Homes a “Must Have,” 2016

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Blog

Solar Contagion and Lessons for Other Energy Upgrades, 2016

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Get Involved

We rely on bold philanthropic and industry partners interested in helping to drive a new normal in the U.S. home market.