BEHAVIORAL CHANGE IN RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL AND PUBLIC SECTORS
Moderator: Edward Vine, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
This session focuses on two types of behavioral intervention strategies: smart meter feedback programs in the residential sector and behavior changes programs in public buildings and in businesses. The papers provide insights and lessons learned, including an analysis of the challenges that lay ahead in behavior intervention.
In the study by Tiefenbeck et al., instead of getting feedback on a household’s aggregate utility consumption, individuals received feedback on a single, energy-intensive behavior while they engaged in it. In a randomized controlled trial with 697 households, individuals were provided feedback on their energy and water consumption in the shower. Smart shower meters were used to display the feedback on a little LCD screen; the devices stored measurement data on every shower. The authors found that the narrow focus on a specific behavior induced large savings: the treatment group who received feedback in real time reduced their energy and water consumption in the shower by 22% over the control group. The effects were stable throughout the two-month study, resulting in average savings of 1.2 kWh per day and household. The savings are equivalent to the energy consumption of two modern European refrigerators.
Dougherty and Henderson examine energy impacts from smart grid enabled feedback programs that provide more frequent, granular data, which they term “real-time” data, to programs that use less “smart” approaches, such as month-to-month billing comparisons. Drawing on a careful and systematically reviewed body of studies conducted throughout North America, they explore if, how, and to what extent smart meter data has produced more effective feedback programs by benchmarking smart meter programs against feedback programs that use other forms of information (billing and other behavioral strategies). They present recommendations for smart meter programs based on their observations and the work conducted to date.
Ozawa-Meida et al. focus on an evaluation of the SMARTSPACES project and its effect on energy-related behaviour change. The project provided two services: an energy management service (EMS) and an energy decision support service (EDSS). These services were implemented in over 450 public buildings across 11 European cities in 8 European countries (Serbia, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Turkey and United Kingdom). Building professionals (energy managers) primarily used the EMS and building staff used the EDSS. These services intended to inform, support and enable target audiences to use up-to- date metered feedback to reduce energy use in public buildings. The authors present results of ex-ante and ex-post surveys to building staff about their levels of awareness, attitudes, perceived control behaviour and intentions in three selected cities: Bristol, Leicester and Venlo. Outcomes varied across the examined cities depending upon the type of information presented, the level of engagement of users with the energy saving campaigns and the amount of previous energy management work undertaken by buildings’ facilities and energy management professionals.
Dethman et al. highlight the lessons learned in employing continuous improvement strategies with Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s Step Up and Power Down (SUPD) commercial campaign. This initiative is a pioneering behavior change pilot that relies on non-financial rewards, such as employee engagement campaigns and public recognition, to encourage owners and employees of downtown businesses in two major California cities to join a movement to reduce energy waste. The research team provided diverse services across the whole arc of the project, from the campaign’s inception until the end of the pilot. On balance, while take a continuous improvement approach presents challenges in terms of uncertain scopes of work and needed budget, rapid response, and maintaining objectivity, the authors found this approach valuable in meeting the multiple assessment goals of complex behavior change initiatives, from changing energy viewpoints and behaviors to achieving energy savings.
PAPERS / PRESENTATIONS
Better Get Focused: How Feedback on a Specific Behavior Can Reduce Energy Consumption [paper]
Verena Tiefenbeck, ETH Zurich, Switzerland and University of Bonn, Germany
Thorsten Staake, University of Bamberg, Germany
Samuel Schoeb, University of Bamberg, Germany
Lorenz Goette, University of Bonn, Germany
Is More Data a Smarter Choice? Benchmarking the Energy Impacts Associated with Smart Meter Feedback Programs and the Techniques Used to Evaluate Them [paper]
Anne Dougherty, ILLUME Advising, LLC, Tucson, AZ
Courtney Henderson, ILLUME Advising, LLC, Truckee, CA
Summative Behaviour Change Evaluation of Up-to-date Metered Energy Feedback in European Public Buildings [paper] [presentation]
Leticia Ozawa-Meida, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
Caroline Wilson, Coventry University, Coventry, UK
Carl Holland, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
Paul Fleming, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
Graeme Stuart, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
Using Continuous Improvement to Assess a Multi-Faceted Behavior Change Initiative for Businesses [paper] [presentation]
Linda Dethman, Research Into Action, Portland, OR
Brian Smith, Pacific Gas & Electric, San Francisco, CA
Jillian Rich, Pacific Gas & Electric, San Francisco, CA
Meghan Bean, Research Into Action, Portland, OR