Keith Hutchings
Keith Hutchings The guy in charge at The Comfortable Home Project

How do we change the culture around solar-designed housing ?

I am obsessed with passive solar designed houses  I see it as an important part of dealing with climate change  But the building industry is very reluctant to change. So it is still very much of a niche product even though it is a vastly better product than regular housing. 

In the last hundred years, there have been a number of marketing campaigns that changed the culture. Pepsodent normalizing toothbrushing, the DeBeers diamond engagement ring. The Harvard alcohol project's designated driver campaign. Just today I learned the sliced bread was also a marketing campaign. 

So marketing geniuses, how would you set about to change the way that Australians see houses so that consumers begin to demand houses that are comfortable throughout the year without additional heating and cooling. 

Tom Valcanis

Tom Valcanis, Copywriter at

I think it comes down to the hip-pocket nerve. All you need to get is a few people bragging about how much money they're saving using solar compared to grid electricity. A simple ad campaign that opens with a family on holiday for the fifth time that year. Some wait staff grumbling that they're "sun worshippers" - they chase good sunny weather thanks to solar energy savings. The environmental impact is not so big a deal in this country, since grid electricity is so expensive.