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Earnest energy efficiency programs will not engage millennials

OTTAWA, April 25, 2017 – Utilities and LDCs will have to learn how to woo millennials to get them to buy into energy efficiency which is why CEEA and IESO decided to investigate what millennials think about energy conservation. “It can be hard to get input in this sector,” said Terry Young, VP at IESO. “We need some level of input and put structure around it as we build programs.” The big reveal of the CEEA/IESO Engaging Millennials report came on April 19 at CEEA’s Business Forum in Toronto. The alliance’s Elizabeth McDonald agreed, saying the insights gathered will help Ontario with its Long Term Energy Plan, particularly since millennials can be hard to reach despite their constant use of smart phones.

Some of the key takeaways include that millennials have expectations that an EE program have clarity, that it make a difference and be grounded in verifiable fact – when you tell them something they will check to see if it’s a true. Millennials are motivated by a desire for financial independence first, and then by environmental concerns. So energy efficiency is not rejected, it’s just not a top priority (forgetfulness is a barrier for them).

In terms of current EE programs they are considered “okay”, more of a something for everyone approach versus being niche-marketed to millennials. While the Save On Energy programs do appeal to millennials, earnestness does not work at all. Delivery must be mobile friendly – YouTube and Facebook are more relevant than a hard copy of The Globe and Mail.

This is a group that will translate their behaviour at home to behaviour at work. So there’s potential there for energy efficiency programs to be even more effective if they target the home. But it must also resonate with them. Given forgetfulness is a challenge to take action apps will most likely be the way to open doors to millennials.

For a look at the statistics and more findings in Engaging Millennials go to Quick Facts.
For the full study go to Reports.

The Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA) is the country’s leading independent advocate promoting the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency. CEEA works with the federal and provincial governments and stakeholders, to ensure energy efficiency is a priority for all sectors of the economy. By monitoring, examining and developing energy efficient public policy ideas, programs and standards, CEEA is an effective resource for policy makers, businesses, consumers, energy companies and environmental groups.

CEEA’s members include large international corporations, Canadian utilities and a wide variety of energy efficiency associations including the Canadian Construction Association, ElectroFed, HRAI and the Mechanical Contractors of Canada. Representing almost 25,000 like-minded industry members, CEEA is proud to advance a strong voice for energy efficiency.