Monday, November 13, 2023
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Competition, Recognition, and Innovation: Motivating Participation to Build Inclusive Energy Action
Session ID
E1 - Panel: Competition, Recognition, and Innovation: Motivating Participation to Build Inclusive Energy Action
Behavior - based Programs
Elaina Lee Sumi Gant Samantha Dodero

Local governments face a plethora of competing priorities – so what compels them to participate in energy programs? Some have dedicated energy or sustainability staff and are keenly aware of the benefits of program participation to support energy and climate goals. But for many others energy doesn’t rise to the top of their list, even though these agencies often need the most support. This session will tell a story of supporting public agency staff to act on energy programs through patience, creativity, and partnership. A few years ago, a program called SoCalREN launched a new “regional partnership” initiative to expand into under-resourced regions by partnering with trusted local organizations. SoCalREN’s regional partners have enticed agencies in their communities to increase local energy actions so that more communities can realize the benefits from energy savings. The partners possess local, relevant knowledge and have seen programs either fail or succeed; they understand what behavioral strategies it will take to drive participation (and just as importantly, which to steer clear of). In some instances, agencies are motivated by competition, so the partners have developed creative competitive models which also pave the way for leadership recognition via presentations, plaque displays, and online spotlights. Updated dashboards of points earned for various energy actions have compelled agencies to call partners in search of ways to earn more and move up in tiers. For other agencies, competition isn’t a draw, so the partners have created alternatives: three innovative pilot program offerings centered around resiliency action planning, facility equipment inventories, and home energy assessments. This panel will elaborate on regional deployment of competition, recognition, and other innovative ideas to entice public agency energy action. The panel will engage the audience in a discussion around promoting participation and trust in energy programs, so that benefits can be realized by all.