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Suzanne Shelton

Shelton Group is the nation’s leading marketing communications agency entirely focused in the sustainability and energy efficiency sectors. Learn more about how to gain the sustainable market advantage at http://sheltongrp.com/.


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Recent Posts

Net Zero Homes: The Terminology Disconnect

Posted by Suzanne Shelton

Sep 23, 2014 12:27:24 PM

When you have a great product that meets LEED, Energy Star or other important sustainable standards, it’s natural to want to get the word out. But will your prospective customers really hear you? There’s an old adage about what happens when you assume—and it especially applies to assuming consumers will get the message when you label your products with industry buzzwords.

Our Pulse research shows consumers have a very limited understanding of terms common in the construction industry. Take the latest, greatest thing out there: net-zero homes. Exciting stuff, confusing terminology.

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Energy Efficiency: The Emotional Appeal

Posted by Suzanne Shelton

Jul 18, 2014 1:09:40 PM

IF YOU'VE SEEN any of our presentations, read any of our articles or talked with anyone from Shelton Group, you know we believe there is no silver bullet message when it comes to selling energy efficiency. There are distinctly different emotional drivers for at least four distinctly different types of home-owning Americans.

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Builders: Don't Return to Business as Usual

Posted by Suzanne Shelton

Jun 6, 2014 11:39:02 AM

The housing market is starting to recover. Put yourself in front by offering truly sustainable, high-quality homes.

WE"RE AMERICANS. And as Americans. we can’t help ourselves—we want things bigger, faster and better, despite the hard lessons we may have learned that should cause us to behave differently. To that end, I worry about builders—especially the ones not reading a magazine targeted toward green builders.

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The Follow-Through

Posted by Suzanne Shelton

May 28, 2014 7:20:00 PM

Shelton’s Energy Pulse 2013 was full of encouraging insights for green builders and energy-efficient product manufacturers and contractors. Home improvements related to energy efficiency are on the rise. Following a steady decline from 2007 to 2012, there was a noticeable uptick for technologies including solar panels, tankless water heaters, energy displays and high-efficiency HVAC systems. Plus, consumer attitudes toward energy conservation were more positive on the whole.

This is all good news for green builders, and, at first glance it certainly seems to correspond with another revelation from Energy Pulse 2013: more people (64 percent) believe that climate change is real and primarily caused by humans.

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A Comforting Message

Posted by Suzanne Shelton

May 1, 2014 6:53:00 PM

There's an interesting yin and yang to selling a home (or home improvements) based on energy efficiency. On the one hand, 81 percent of prospective homebuyers claim energy efficiency would impact their home selection, all other things being equal (amenities, school district and price). But on the other hand, half of us claim to have made 1–3 energy-efficient improvements to our homes, only to see our utility bills stay the same or go up. So many of us feel like Charlie Brown chasing the proverbial football, and just don’t buy into energy efficiency savings claims anymore.

The net effect is that fewer and fewer Americans are actually in the market for energy-efficient products and services today than they were a few years ago, and—perhaps not surprisingly—most prioritize aesthetics over energy efficiency. Only 12 percent of Americans intend to make energy-efficient improvements in the near future, while 55 percent are likely to make aesthetic improvements.

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