Welcome to Research Into Action
Research Into Action, Inc. is a program evaluation and market research firm. We specialize in evaluation research and market assessment design and analysis services in the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and natural resource management.
Our name accurately describes what we do. We use a variety of proven theories and field-tested social/behavioral research and evaluation techniques to help our clients convert our research into effective actions.
Our clients include program administrators for utilities, government agencies, and energy-related government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations - suppliers and market innovators who rely on well designed research tools and methods in order to create, implement, analyze, and improve products and services that meet their customers' needs.
We're honored that we earned Gold level certification from the City of Portland's Sustainability at Work program -- and that Oregon Business Magazine named us the "greenest company to work for in Oregon" in 2013; we've been in the top ten since 2010.
And that the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City recognized us as one of the "Inner City 100" - the fastest-growing firms located in America's inner cities in 2012 and 2013.
Projects of Interest:
Process Evaluation of the Products Program
In 2013, Research Into Action conducted a process evaluation of Energy Trust of Oregon’s (Energy Trust) Products Program. The program provides incentives to residential customers for qualified high-efficiency ENERGY STAR® clothes washers, refrigerators, and freezers, and offers incentives for refrigerator and freezer recycling. The program also works with a diverse group of regional market actors to encourage the use and purchase of CFLs, LEDs, and efficient showerheads and faucet aerators through buy-downs, mark-downs, giveaways, and product placements. The goals of this process evaluation were to obtain market intelligence and feedback, and provide recommendations on program design and implementation EnergyTrust could use to improve the Products Program. Our tasks included: reviews of relevant literature; in-depth interviews with Energy Trust program staff, program implementation contractor staff, retailers (corporate leaders and store managers), mystery shopper visits; analysis of refrigerator data; and refrigerator recycling consulting. Through the interviews with retailers, we sought to learn how Energy Trust could strengthen its relationships with the retailers. In particular, we explored: how retailers engaged with customers, support they needed to improve point-of-purchase (POP) materials, and types of training they needed. Our mystery shopper visits assessed the placement of point-of-purchase (POP) materials, as well as sales associates’ knowledge of, attitudes toward, and promotion of ENERGY STAR® products.
Research to Support a Commercial and Industrial Solar Marketing Strategy
In 2013, Research Into Action conducted research to support a commercial and industrial solar marketing strategy for Energy Trust of Oregon. Our work involved an analysis of the “most likely to consider solar” market segments, to guide Energy Trust's program investments. We characterized participants and partial participants in the Energy Trust program database(s), including tabulating business characteristics, geographic distribution, and other data collected by Energy Trust. We also reviewed secondary literature on commercial and industrial solar adoption to identify issues. Sources included those in the business and popular press (e.g., New York Times and Wall Street Journal), as well as in energy industry and renewables specialty publications (such as, and Greentech Media), and studies conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory that address issues in solar adoption. Based on this review, we conducted in-depth interviews with current and potential solar adopters in the commercial and industrial sectors.