Behavior change is difficult in any context. As the late English writer Samuel Johnson once said, “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt, until they are too strong to be broken.”
We all harbor some degree of resistance to changing habits. It is common to become so familiar with a routine that it becomes a source of comfort. That’s why becoming more energy efficient, though appealing on paper, is a much more strenuous effort than it initially seems.
Changing habits and behavior is best achieved through support, reminders, incentives, community pressure, goal setting, and more. Finding a successful strategy is critical to behavior change, but this process is often challenging. Enter the new ACEEE report “Reducing Energy Waste through Municipally Led Behavior Change Programs,” which established a sequence of seven steps for local governments to shape viable municipally led behavior change programs. Let’s break these steps down and explore how they work.