Poster 7: why choosing energy efficiency can be like choosing to take medicine

Every day this week I am uploading a poster taken from the contents of my book on energy and resource efficiency – to help fellow practitioners communicate the benefits and processes that will unlock value in their organizations and sustain change.

This is Poster 7 describing why some aspects of energy and resource efficiency (such as behavior changes) are a tough sale and how to improve the probability of success.

Economists categorize some goods like medicines as “credence goods”. Simply put, you take a medicine because you trust your doctors (their advice has credence). You can’t “sample” the medicine in advance of making the decision (in which case it would be an “experience good”) nor can you do detailed research to quantify the precise results the medicine will have on your specific condition (in other words it is not a “search good”).

Typically sectors that supply credence goods are strongly regulated in order to protect the public (such as medicines or legal services). If they are not regulated (e.g. car servicing) then these sectors often have a bad reputation (how many times have you felt that you’ve been sold something unnecessary by a garage?)

My book goes into a lot more depth on this issue and give practical advice on how package and pitch a efficiency program where some of the benefits cannot be quantified fully in advance.

See my first comment below for details of how you can download the text of the book free of charge or follow the link in the poster (the number in the poster file refers to the chapter and illustration in the book). Enjoy! Sharing and Feedback most welcome!


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Energy and Resource Efficiency without the tears

Niall Enright’s book was published in June 2017 and last updated in September 2018.

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Ideas and Challenges

Despite self-congratulatory case studies to the contrary, the reality is that Sustainability and Resource Efficiency are NOT EASY to implement successfully in organisations.

In a series of blogs, articles, book reviews, and extracts from Niall Enright's book you will find hints, tips and suggestions to make Sustainability a Success.

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May 2024