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Energy

Shedding new light on energy efficiency

When you do a Google image search on energy efficiency, what comes up? You guessed it - a whole lot of CFL light bulbs. Our current visual vocabulary for energy efficiency is woefully inadequate for the task of inspiring Americans to save energy. Good visuals are essential to successful outreach…

Tapping into Twitter as the ultimate soapbox

This just in: Twitter remains an absolutely terrific way to spark interest and dialogue around key policy issues. Here in California, we helped clean energy supporters use Twitter to help fend off 2014 oil industry attacks on the state’s landmark climate law, AB 32. After we began circulating model Tweets…

ZNE pitch: no more apologies!

People involved with advancing zero net energy (ZNE) buildings spend a lot of time talking about how much ZNE buildings cost—or don’t cost—in an effort to convince the building sector that ZNE is not as expensive as they might think. Given that perceived cost is one of the biggest barriers…

A sneak peek at 2015’s big environment news

Think no one’s paying attention to the big environmental issues of the day? Think again. Last month, an overflow crowd attended an event at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC to hear journalists like the Wall Street Journal’s Amy Harder, Bloomberg’s Larry Pearl, and Randy Loftis of the Dallas…

Show & tell: Chicago’s first energy benchmarking report

One of the first lessons we learn about storytelling is that when we show (and tell), our stories are more interesting. That’s why kids bring in items from home to show-and-tell classmates about things they care about. When it comes to saving energy, finding ways to show what success looks…

Getting to zero: Best pitch for ZNE

For the last couple of years, Resource Media and the New Buildings Institute have been wrestling with a challenging question: What’s the best way to sell zero net energy (ZNE) buildings within the building sector? The good news is we’ve finally got an answer. At the upcoming Getting to Zero…

3 lessons from testing images and appeals for online action in 2014

Are you planning some website ads or Facebook post promotion in 2015 to try to reach beyond your group’s base, maybe expand your list a little or motivate some broader participation in an online action? I’ve taken a look back at three online ad projects we ran in 2014 to…

How to make people care about energy efficiency? Make it personal!

I just returned from the Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference (BECC) – a gathering of social scientists, economists, marketers and technologists all focused on a single goal: getting people to save energy. As it turns out, it takes quite a bit of priming, educating, rewarding and shaming to get…

A reality check on biomass ambitions

To combat climate change and reduce petroleum imports, some countries have started to adopt strong targets for renewable energy. For example, European Union law requires 20% of energy to be from renewable sources by 2020, and is targeting 27% renewable energy by 2030. So far, biomass is by far the largest contributor…

Unique partnership drives California’s charge for electric vehicles

Amid all the exciting momentum coming out of the UN’s 2014 Climate Summit, you may have missed an achievement that once again puts California at the forefront of environmental leadership and showcases a new way that groups from different perspectives can collaborate to effect change. California innovation got a global spotlight when…