… and hardly anybody noticed (PDF), according to a market-research report the government released.
Canada’s ecoENERGY program offers grants of up to $5,000 for home renovations that improve energy efficiency — new windows, high-efficiency, heating, that kind of thing. I don’t think much of the way the program is designed, but the general idea has merit: energy-inefficiency and climate change affect all kinds of things the government pays for (the health effects of pollution, for instance), and it’s reasonable to try to avoid some of the costs by helping pay to reduce the extent of the problem.
But it only works if people take you up on it, and people will only take you up on it if they know about it, and Environics says the word’s not getting out:
There is a moderate level of awareness of the ecoEnergy Home Retrofit Grant, with three in ten (31%) Canadians and a similar proportion of homeowners (32%) who say they have heard of this program. Awareness is higher among those recalling the radio advertising (60% vs. 25% of non-recallers), although it is unclear the extent to which the advertising led to this higher level of awareness (it may be that those who are aware of the grant were more apt to notice the advertising). In particular, four in ten (40%) ad recallers say they have never heard or seen anything about the Home Retrofit Grant, which may be related to the relatively limited proportion of ad recallers who remember this message from the advertising.
There’s also this fun tidbit:
Canadians are more negative than positive about the federal government’s performance on the environment, with one-quarter (25%) rating it as generally good, compared to four in ten (40%) who rate it as generally poor, and 31 percent who give a neutral rating. Those who recall the recent ecoEnergy Home Retrofit Grant radio advertising are more likely to express a positive opinion, although caution is recommended against assuming a causal link, since it may be that those who are most supportive of the federal government’s performance in this area are also more likely to have noticed the recent advertising. In terms of the federal government’s performance overall and in relation to providing information and services to the public, Canadians tend to give a mixed assessment, neither of which differ significantly by recall of the recent advertising campaign.