CLEAR’s objective is to lower market barriers to the purchase of RES, hence raising consumers capacity to take informed decisions. The result should be a significant uptake in the purchase of renewable energy solutions (RES) by European consumers and therefore an important contribution to the 2020 European targets:
The key steps that are to be implemented to achieve CLEAR’s objective are the following:
- creating a renewable energy web community in the target countries which provides consumers with innovative ways to share experiences and know-how, exchange best practices, watch how-to videos and review systems and local installers. The new online RES hub is hosted on popular consumer organisation websites, reaching out to millions of consumers, and wants to become the go-to place for every consumer wishing to find out about micro-generation technologies;
- ‘hooking’ consumers with independent and expert information gained out of laboratory tests on micro-generation technologies. Test results were translated into articles will provide the consumer with relevant RE information and were widely circulated through consumer magazines and websites and spread via national media;
- raising the consumer capacity to take informed decision with personalised decision-making tools. These range from an interactive tool enabling consumers to find out which technologies are suitable for their needs and property, to investment tools enabling householders to find out how long it might take for a system to pay for itself and how much money and energy they could save;
- gaining attention and getting consumers involved in the CLEAR renewable energy web community, through existing well-established communication channels. Consumer organisations’ magazines are statistically read by three to four persons per household, ensuring an outreach of more than five million people in Europe. Furthermore, CLEAR leverages on the consumer organisations’ brand trust for a further multiplication of RE messages via the national media and word of mouth;
- activating consumers to purchase RE technologies through incentives that bring down cost like group purchase schemes. This has build upon the relevant (and transferable) experience of energy switching of the consortium partners (Consumentenbond in the Netherlands and Test-Achats in Belgium). Personal contact is very important in order to engage consumers to purchase and to act. Thus, consumer organisations provide services such as an individual helpdesk and newsletters, while launching local information sessions to get closer to consumers;
- transforming adopters of RE systems into ambassadors to convert more consumers through the renewable energy community and social media.