INCREASING WATER and ENERGY SAVING BEHAVIORS IN THE HOME
Environmental problems directly related to energy production and consumption include air pollution, climate change, water pollution, and solid waste disposal; the residential sector accounts for over 20% of this consumption in the U.S. Root Solutions partnered with Rising Sun Center for Opportunity and its California Youth Energy Services Program to infuse their home auditing process with behavior change best practices to ensure clients entered the program and subsequently decreased their energy (and water) use.
We shadowed Rising Sun’s outreach efforts and in-home audits, and reviewed all of their client-facing material. From there, we worked with Rising Sun to update their recruitment practices so finding willing homes would be smoother. We created a commitment campaign, and found other opportunities to shift the auditing protocols to improve the likelihood that clients will follow through on energy and water efficiency recommendations. And we redesigned the post audit survey material that Rising Sun distributes to ensure greater open rates, greater response rates, and to better track shifts in client behavior.
Finally, we delivered a tailored deep dive training to Rising Sun employees. As part of the training, Rising Sun employees explored how behavioral design could be integrated further into company practice. Through this training, we gave Rising Sun the tools that they need to continue using behavioral design to maximize the impact of their programs over the long-term.
In 2015 Rising Sun’s California Youth Energy Services program employed and empowered youth, addressed climate change, and provided valuable no-cost home energy and water auditing services to thousands of local residents each year. They accomplished this by training and employing local youth throughout five Bay Area counties to provide home auditing service to local residents. The program served all residents, regardless of income, renter, or owner status. Today, Rising Sun is building career pathways for economic equity and climate resilience in the California Bay Area and San Joaquin County.