A successful carbon reduction strategy is one that has the following characteristics.:
– it appeals to the majority of people
– it saves money as well as energy in a visible way
– it can be integrated into a normal lifestyle.
– it can be self sustaining.
Why appeal to the majority of people?
The need for carbon reductions is so great that we will need to engage the entire adult poulation in the effort. It will be impossible to engage the population in an effort that does not appeal to them in multiple ways. It will be more likely to succeed if strategies appeal to individuals economic self-interest, to their altruism, and to their general well-being.
To satisfy the previous requirements it is necessary to demonstrate savings to guarantee wide adoption.
To pay for the investment required it is also neccessary to demonstrate savings. The investment will need to be funded at the outset, with the savings going to repay the loans over a long period.
Integration into a ‘normal’ lifestyle.
It is important that designers and engineers do not get carried away with the ‘techy’ side of emissions reductions. Most people freely admitted to being unable to program their VCR, when such things existed, so we must make new systems as easy to use as possible. I know of at least one demonstration house where the environmental controls do not work as well as intended, and the software engineers are based in another country and work in another language. This is not a recipe for success.
New technology can sometimes fit into an existing business model, but sometimes it cannot. The introduction of new technology should be accompanied by maintenance and parts management to ensure that customers are able to enjoy the use of lower carbon tech without breakdowns or having to get ‘under the hood’. We live in an aspirational age, for better or worse, and any tech that fails to live up to the high expectations of the Market will fail and undermine the confidence in all similar technologies.