A recent article in the Wall Street Journal is a wakeup call to energy companies trying to be relevant to today’s home builders and new home buyers. I eagerly clicked on the link below to see if all the years of energy advice and program designs had left its mark.
The list of architectural priorities is as follows:
1. Disaster-resistant designs
2. Healthy building materials
3. Smart-home automation
4. Designs catering to an aging population, and finally
5. Energy-efficient design
To make matters worse, the article content on this last one says “Homes that use less electricity and water have become increasingly trendy in recent years and architects expect that to continue, but it is still unclear whether the costs outweigh the benefits. Mr. Suter, the Connecticut architect, said he encourages clients not simply to think of energy efficiency in dollar terms but to think of unforeseen benefits, such as a wood stove that can be used in case of a power outage.”
I remember years ago when utilities focused on the A&E community emphasizing EE and DR agendas. Perhaps this is a reminder that programs like this might be hard to justify in any one year, but the lack of them can certainly place market barriers in place over time.
It seems like we may have to go back to some of the key account type programs in this area as well.