Some “essential questions” to open the conversation

  • What are the obstacles that business and private citizens have in reducing energy use in buildings?
    • Perceptions that it costs too much upfront
    • Perception that “what I do does not matter”
  • Social norms have been shown to be very powerful in changing behavior. How might we create a social norm in Needham around energy efficiency?
  • Ideas for reducing the upfront costs have included leveraging private and public resources.
    • Could financial institutions be encouraged/incented to invest more in this area?
    • Might we consider public approaches such as enabling residents to pay for improvements through their property tax bill or providing a revolving loan fund at the municipal level?


  • Elsa Cutler, Olin College
  • Harrison Smith, Needham High School


Topical Resources

Breakout Group Basics