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New Normal

New Normal

Homeowners who make energy performance a priority are more likely to invest in home energy upgrades. To inspire homeowners to make energy upgrade investments, RMI’s Residential Energy+ initiative is supporting the development of market interventions that help create a New Normal for the U.S. residential market where improved home energy performance becomes the expected and aspired-to standard in U.S. homes.


American consumers have a peculiar relationship with home energy performance. Two-thirds consider it a top priority, yet almost half have done nothing to improve it. In fact, the overall rate of U.S. residential energy performance improvements decreased over recent years. Surveys also reveal that over two-thirds of Americans say they want an energy-efficient home but only about one-third are satisfied with their current home’s energy performance the largest satisfaction gap of any demanded home feature, indicating a major opportunity: energy efficiency improvements represent the top unmet demand in the U.S. residential market.


RMI is deploying several types of market interventions that leverage major industry touch-points with homeowners and apply behavioral insights in order to expand the sources of motivation for energy upgrade investments and make these investments a priority for homeowners, including: 

  • Mainstream Media Engagement: Working with popular television programs like Property Brothers and other mainstream customer-focused channels to integrate clean energy storylines into popular narratives and make clean energy more conversational, relatable, and desirable.
  • Contractor Engagement: Empowering contractors to better engage with homeowners and promote energy upgrade services by using a suite of online and in-person tactics.
  • Realtor Engagement: Empowering realtors to better promote the benefits of improved energy performance and increase demand among their buyer and seller clients for energy upgrades
  • Broader Industry Engagement: Publishing and leveraging leading social science and customer research to arm industry partners--like service providers, educators, and marketing agencies--to compel homeowners to both think differently about their home’s energy performance and take action.



We rely on the support of bold philanthropic and industry partners. Interested in helping drive a new normal in the U.S. home market? Contact us at newnormal@rmi.org  

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