Business Opportunity: Making it Easy for Individuals to Save Money

Sat, Feb 7, 2009

c. Earn More Revenue

The Wall Street Journal reported that many of the US emissions problems could be “cured” by individual Americans. This runs contrary to the popular view that the emissions problem is more a function of big business than individual habits. The Journal cites McKinsey research that “US consumers have direct or indirect control over 65% of the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions.”

The implication is that – unique to the United States – individuals need help in curbing their emissions. There are scattered resources for helping consumers. Lightbulb replacements are easily found. Home Depot can talk you through energy efficiency activities for your home. And there are a growing number of companies that are appearing to help you make your home more energy efficient.

Yet the activities of consumers – according to my recent survey – are as of yet being fully supported. At a neighborhood party, a group of us got involved in talking about our interest in doing something to become more energy efficient. But almost none of us were doing anything of significance. Of the group, not a single person had more than a few CFLs installed. No one had brought a company in to evaluate the energy efficiency of their homes. No one was looking at fuel efficiency as a major determinant of which car to purchase. And there was almost no awareness of the rebate program offered by the local utility for reducing energy costs.

While this represents an obviously small sample, it just seems that there is enough pain in helping to motivate consumers. Pain = Opportunity.

It seems that a small business could find ample opportunity by solving this pain. This would require a business who can take Apple’s view of usability and bring consumers solutions that busy homeowners could act on quickly. In other words, someone has to make it much easier for people to save money. The world of energy savings is still big and confusing and dominated by small players who are more skilled in doing the work, and less skilled in making it easy for consumers.

And with 65% of the greenhouse emissions in the hands of individuals the world can gain as well.

Seen any businesses that make it easy for people to save money?

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