Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge (2010 to 2013) – US Department of Energy
With a team of partners, Empower Efficiency co-led this $4.2M Better Buildings grant to design, implement, and evaluate a large-scale CBSM program to stop energy-wasting behaviors
in Connecticut homes. The Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) program tested innovative approaches to address barriers and benefits across 14 Connecticut towns with diverse socioeconomic
demographics, and social and political cultures.
In addition to fostering efficiency behaviors through community outreach, one of the key strategies was a “foot-in-the-door” offering (a subsidized home energy audit) that introduced
residents to small energy-saving actions they could take in their homes. These actions primed residents to be receptive to engaging in higher-impact home upgrades.
The N2N program efforts included CBSM program design; Community Asset Mapping for 14 communities; extensive collaboration and communication with public agencies, community
groups, and local influencers; education and outreach using behavioral marketing, behavior science levers, and personal and social motivational factors; contractor coordination, data
management, and technology development; and program evaluation. The program team used a data-driven action research approach to make continuous process refinements; measure and
improve program performance; assess and refine marketing messages; and actively manage contractor performance.
The Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge recruited 134 diverse and trusted community groups; held more than 1,200 outreach events (compared to 110 residential events held by the
largest utility across its service territory); received 140 earned media mentions; and built a email list of 7,296 subscribers. The program completed 3,571 Home Energy Solutions visits achieving 10 to 15% energy savings per home. The program evaluation reported over $2,000,000 in total annual energy savings each year for the life of the actions.