Workshop kickstarts new narrative to inspire action on energy efficiency
On 11 May in New Delhi, India, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE), the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) organized the Energy Efficient LiFE Charette that brought together energy efficiency, communications, and marketing experts to revolutionize the energy efficiency narrative.
While energy efficiency is widely recognized as the “first fuel” for clean energy transitions, communications has been typically technical and logical and has sometimes failed to inspire widespread action. Innovative communication is a powerful tool that can elevate energy efficiency and empower decision-making at both individual and collective levels, by tapping into emotions and experiences.
At this Charrette, key practitioners made the initial steps to develop fresh, personalized, and emotion-driven messages that resonate with diverse stakeholders (individuals, businesses, institutions) and spur action.
This Energy Efficiency LiFE Charrette builds on the work of the Mission Efficiency Narrative Taskforce, a collaborative effort to reframe key messages for a range of audiences on the benefits, experiences, and feelings received from energy efficiency.
During the Charrette, stakeholders shared innovative energy efficiency stories on key sectors including homes and buildings, industry, and businesses, and in transport and cities. Key messages that resonated with a wide range of audiences were shared, and brand and communications experts weighed in on how to craft compelling people-centred messages.
From the above-mentioned sessions, key takeaways included:
- Change does not happen in isolation - communication is a catalyst for collaboration and collective action.
- Communication approaches need to be tailored to meet audiences where they are: focus on building trust, bridging information gaps, and tapping into experiences.
- There is a need for a deeper understanding of the audience's aspirations to effectively address their needs.
- Energy efficiency is about abundance - having more energy and doing more with it.
- Even crisis situations can be channelled in a positive and solution-oriented manner, for instance by shifting the communication focus from "saving to survive" to "acting to thrive."
- When crafting messages, there is a need to move from solutions and benefits to experiences and finally to emotions. The following emotions resonate with the various categories of audiences:
- Optimism, Pride – Business.
- Lead, Pride, Confident, Hope, Proving – Government.
- Unity, Status, Ego, Pride, Satisfaction, Desire of a better life – Individual.
- Good messages must be simple, personal, and beneficial.
- Great messages can connect to people, make them feel (have some emotion), and make them want to act.
- There is need to democratize messages.
- Let people feel that they are part of the solution.
- Spur people to take greater action within their context.
- Using the right technology is key to disseminate messages and enable innovative two-way communications.
Key messages from the Charrette also fed into a G20 International Seminar on Accelerating Energy Efficiency Progress and Promoting LiFE, co-organized by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Power, Government of India, SEforALL, AEEE, and Mission Efficiency, on 17 May in Mumbai, India, during the third meeting of the G20 Energy Transition Working Group.
During the event, high-level speakers from G20 governments and international organizations discussed how to leverage new narratives, promote initiatives like the Lifestyles for the Environment (LiFE) campaign of the Government of India, and mobilize global cooperation to catalyse a culture of sustainable lifestyles and a global movement for energy efficiency.
Looking ahead, partners will continue to work together to craft new energy efficiency campaigns and communications initiatives that invigorate progress in energy efficiency and promote an abundant and modern life. Stay tuned for updates!
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