First Name Last Name Company: Presentation Title Abstract Text
Joana Abreu Fraunhofer CSE Strategies and Motives of Engagement in a DSM Automated Cycling Experiment A small retailer in the North of Portugal launched a program to provide feedback to clients about electricity consumption in the home. High illiteracy and unemployment, as well as low Internet penetration rates (necessary for the Cloogy feedback technology) required the use of techniques designed to rapidly increase participation (which has increased from 1% to 38% [1]). The method includes opt out design and relies on carefully scripted phone calls performed by someone with a similar socio-cultural background. The main program objective was to test the acceptance to automated cycling of appliances directly by the supplier. The experiment was designed to decrease the potential impact on common daily practices of participant households. Therefore, we chose appliances that if disconnected for a period of time (2 hours) could still measurably impact the load, with the least discomfort to the occupants of the house. The experimental design relied on randomization of participants in the control and two treatment groups: with and other without an economic incentive, which was designed to have a higher impact on the individual, as estimated singular savings were aggregated into a lottery prize. Communication with the population tried to focus in the characteristics of the community. Since the supplier is a Cooperative with a very small service area (with less than 2000 clients), it was possible to convey a message about joint benefits, and about the role of planning demand flexibility into the client-supplier relationship. As a result, the message to treatment participant’s focused specifically in resilience, and fighting-off forecasted electricity price increase. The DSM events lasted for a week. Each participant with a mobile phone received a short message before and after the event to make sure the electronic plug and communications hub were correctly plugged in. These messages include a descriptive normative component (“join the majority of your neighbors“), an altruistic component (“support the supplier program”), and for the economic incentive subgroup, a reminder of the final prize. Results show that the control and two treatment groups are statistically similar. There is a statistical difference between the treatment and control, proving that it is not by chance, that for the period of the experiment, treatment groups are more frequently connected than the control group. However, it is not possible to prove beyond doubt that the economic incentive had a positive effect over its specific group. In fact, the opposite seems to happen, where the counts for persistence during the period of the experiment showing a higher frequency of hubs connected for seven days in a row in the treatment group without an incentive. An analysis of the effects of the drivers in the experiment is underway. The impacts are the result of a portfolio of strategies put in place to a) increase participation, b) engage participants by talking to what they care, c) limit disturbance to lifestyle and actual daily practices while meeting the goals of load curtailment. The details will be further discussed in the presentation.
Adrian Albert Stanford University On structure in residential energy consumption patterns Residential energy demand depends heavily on both the physical characteristics of homes and on the energy consumption lifestyle choices of occupants. With the recent massive deployment of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI such as “smart meters”) that record usage hourly or sub-hourly, a window into households’ lifestyle-driven energy consumption is now possible. Well documented in previous research is the effect of home occupancy on energy use – that is, when residents are at home energy use is increased and more varied. In this work, we develop a dynamic model of residential energy consumption driven by “occupancy states”. These states reflect structurally different regimes of energy use that are driven by user presence and activity level in the house, such as, the use of large appliances (heating, cooling). In effect, we disaggregate the dynamic pattern of intensive end-uses of energy when ground truth information about households is not available. We learn individual household occupancy models from hourly data for 220,000 energy users in CA. To characterize the dynamics of occupancy states at an household level, we view the household as a state-machine that follows a sequence of energy consumption regimes dominated by either heating or cooling, which are superimposed onto other unobservable consumption activity (such as baseload or always on loads). We formulate these lifestyle states (occupancy or non-occupancy) mathematically using a Hidden Markov Model in which consumption in a given latent state follows a linear breakpoint relation with outside temperature. Inference proceeds using a Expectation-Maximization-type algorithm in which the Maximization step is formulated as a breakpoint estimation problem for two-regime linear regression. As shown by past literature and our own simulation studies, energy-intensive end-uses such as cooling and heating are well described by a two-regime linear dependence of consumption with outside temperature. In our model, these different temperature dependencies act as signatures for different occupancy states. Additionally, we analyze the effect of demographic variables (such as income level) on the characteristics of consumption that allow us to make predictions about consumption dynamics of new users for which no consumption history is available, but only demographic attributes. We argue that an understanding of occupancy patterns at a household level may be used for targeting Demand-Response programs (e.g., load curtailing) to consumers whose adoption would most benefit the system.
Patricia Aloise-Young Colorado State University Predicting Attitudes toward Smart Meters from Connectedness to Nature, Comfort with Technology and Political Affiliation Utilities worldwide spent $13.9 billion in 2012 on smart grid technologies, more than half of which was spent on smart metering and related infrastructure and services. Fort Collins, Colorado is one of the many communities across the US upgrading its power grid with the installation of smart meters. Although experts are excited by the added functionality of these meters, consumers’ reactions have been mixed. Market researchers have explored consumers’ attitudes toward smart meters and identified some sources of opposition (e.g., privacy and security). However, In general, very little is known about the individual differences that predict acceptance of green technologies in general, and smart meters in particular. The primary goal of this project is to determine how much (a) attitudes toward the environment, (b) attitudes toward technological innovation, and (c) demographic characteristics such as political affiliation predict attitudes toward smart meters. Participants were 361 Fort Collins residents (48% female) ranging from 18 to 85 years of age (mean = 44 years). Most were homeowners (65.8%). Democrats were most common (34.1%), followed by Independent and unaffiliated (21.9%) and Republicans (19.8%). In-person surveys were administered at public events including: Historic Homes Tour, Ft Collins Sustainable Living Fair, a Cub Scout picnic, and a gun show. An online version of the survey was promoted through various websites, a letter printed in The Coloradoan newspaper, and flyers placed on cars in Fort Collins. The 30 item survey included an abbreviated version (7 items, α=.876) of the Connectedness to Nature Scale (CNS; Mayer, & Frantz, 2004), the Personal Innovativeness in Information Technology (PIIT; Agarwal & Prasad, 1998) scale (3 items, α=.893), and a newly developed Attitudes toward Smart Meters scale. This scale included 7 items (α=.848): (a) Overall, I expect a Smart Meter will be useful in my home. (b) I am worried about the effect a Smart Meter may have on my health. (c) The Smart Meter will help me use energy more efficiently. (d) I am worried about the privacy of my home energy use information. (e) Using a Smart Meter will help me to be more environmentally responsible. (f) I am worried about viruses or hackers controlling my power supply. and (g) I would be interested in purchasing hardware/software that would help me get more information from my Smart Meter. A regression of Smart Meter Attitudes on CNS scores, PIIT scores, dummy coded political affiliation accounted for 17% of the variance. The CNS (β=.29, p<.001) and the PIIT significance (β=.09, p=.095) positively predicted Smart Meter Attitudes. Republicans had less positive attitudes towards smart meters than Democrats s (-.45 vs .40). We suggest that these results can be used to create a strategy for smart meter deployment that minimizes pushback and maximizes the potential success of smart grid technologies. Furthermore, many consumers are still relatively uninformed (38.2% of respondents reported knowing nothing about smart meters) which is an opportunity for the utility to create support for new smart grid technologies.
Amy Anderson CLASS 5 Energy Change Management in Schools: Engaging Staff before Students For years now, educators have been finding ways to incorporate sustainability into their curriculum with the goal of infusing the next generation with a solid basis in green practices and energy awareness. But what if the goal was not focused on the future; rather on changing the culture of a district today? To truly do that, we need to think a bit differently: rather than a curriculum aimed at kids, why not an energy behavior program focused on the adults? With a heavy focus on student learning, engaging the adults in school buildings is rarely seen as a priority. However, research shows that culture change in any organization must be driven, supported and demonstrated by the organization’s leaders. In schools, that means the administrators and staff. Contributions from both the engineering and psychology fields have produced a convergence of thought when it comes to culture change. Successful change requires two things: adapting how things are done and helping people understand what the adaptation means to them. In a school, it is the staff that ultimately executes new day-to-day activities and brings the new processes and values to life in the school. Consider things like school spirit or anti-bullying – if these focuses are part of a school, it’s because a group of adults decided to make it so. When thoughts, goals, actions and behaviors begin from the top down and are staff led and modeled, the possibilities for creating change are endless. Achieving organizational energy efficiency in any building– requires that people at all levels see energy as a controllable cost, and their actions as having an impact on that cost. It requires changing people’s attitudes and habits – and that requires a sustained, consistent education and engagement effort across multiple areas, by multiple people, using multiple strategies. Because the premise of this practice is engaging staff, rather than building upgrades or adding curriculum, it is an inexpensive, long-lasting way to incorporate green practices into daily functions. Once people make the shift from saving energy because they are told to, to saving energy because they want to, K-12 schools see a variety of benefits: reduced operational costs and GHG emissions, , building self-sufficiency and achieving community status as a “green” building or district, increased staff satisfaction, increased awareness of energy saving opportunities and a higher likelihood of engaging in energy saving behaviors. We have implemented a staff engagement program focused on sustainability and energy efficiency in over 750 K-12 buildings across 5 states – helping schools avoid more than $30 million in energy costs. One such school that embraced the program and saw great success was Cambridge-Isanti. In this district, we supported the implementation of a successful change management process with the assistance of a team of three district staff: the superintendent, the head of buildings and grounds and the energy efficiency coordinator. Included in this presentation will be Cambridge-Isantis’ journey through the change management process, as well as highlight the positive benefits realized as a result of the program. Speakers: Joe Hallberg, Ann Arney
Hannah Arnold Opinion Dynamics Estimating Measure Life from Behavioral Programs: What We Know, What We Need to Know, and How it Challenges our Current Thinking Behavioral energy efficiency programs have been in place throughout the nation for less than five years. As these programs take root in states around the county, stakeholders are beginning to raise questions around their effective useful life (EUL) – in simplified terms, how long the savings persist – and numerous entities are investigating this issue through empirical research. This issue is critical to program administrators who use benefit cost analysis, which relies on identifying the number of years for which program benefits extend. These analyses ultimately determine the fate of the program as a mechanism for achieving energy savings. The concept of EUL has been used within the energy efficiency industry for decades. The definition is clear and makes sense for specific pieces of equipment, but it is less clear when one considers the actions taken by individuals as a result of participation in behavioral programs. This is particularly true when those participant actions are not equipment purchases or when they constitute multiple equipment installations. Currently, the default EUL for behavioral programs is 1 meaning the savings persist as long as the program is implemented. However, we know through empirical research that behavioral programs drive actions that persist for more than one year particularly through equipment installations and building upgrades as mentioned above. The question is not do the savings persist, but rather how long might we expect the savings to persist, and what is the best estimate for resource planning? This presentation will detail what we’ve learned nationally about this issue, what we have yet to learn, and how we might use an evidence-based EUL for behavioral programs in the future. In particular, the authors will detail through empirical research conducted in multiple states, evidence that supports extending the EUL. The authors will use this as the backdrop for a larger policy discussion regarding how determining an EUL for behavioral programs is currently confounded by two issues: (1) uncertainty as to what occurs without continued program intervention for non-purchase energy efficiency actions, and (2) the practical application of an EUL given how these behavioral programs are implemented. The authors will conclude with a call for focused persistence studies that examine both energy savings without program treatment, and the source of these energy savings. The authors will argue why additional strategic research that is national in scope is required to thoroughly examine and estimate the persistence of behavior changes, and the persistence of measure-based savings over time.
Lucy Arnot Pacific Gas & Electric A Messaging Behavioral Thermostat Customer Trial to Measure Energy Savings and Customer Experience The objective of this customer trial is to learn about the energy savings and customer experience due to a communicating thermostat with Opower behavioral software. Results from this trial have not yet been measured, but interim results (representing 6-12 months of use, depending on when the customer was enrolled in the trial) will be available in September, 2013, in time to be presented at BECC. Project Summary: In a joint effort with several partner firms, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has implemented a trial program in which customers are provided with a Honeywell programmable communicating thermostat with Opower behavioral software designed to “nudge” residential customers into making more efficient heating and cooling choices. The thermostat includes programming that allows it to be remotely programmed through a smartphone app or a PC-based app. It also has the functionality to push messages to participants through the smartphone app, alerting them to important aspects of their energy use. Approximately 505 thermostats were installed at premises of residential PG&E customers. This trial was designed as a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with sufficient sample points to detect approximately an 8% gas and electricity savings on an annual basis. In order to implement an RCT, customers were recruited using a “recruit-and-deny” method in which they were subject to random placement into the treatment or control group after enrollment. Control group customers did not receive a thermostat, but their energy use is tracked for the sake of comparison with the treatment group. Gas and electricity savings will be measured using panel regression applied to monthly and hourly usage data from treatment and control groups. Estimated effects will include overall gas and electricity savings, as well as electricity savings during peak periods. Additionally, extensive customer experience tracking is being performed in the form of two waves of surveys—one approximately 6 weeks after installation and one 6-9 months after installation. The surveys focus on: • How customers use the thermostat; • How often they interact with it; • Whether they like it; • Whether they experienced technical problems; and • Whether they believe the thermostat has led them to save energy. In sum, this trial rigorously tests the effect of an exciting new technology, and thus would be a fitting addition to BECC 2013. Messaging thermostats such as this one (which is similar to Nest, Ecobee and others) are one of the major new trends in residential energy efficiency. This is, to our knowledge, the only existing RCT of a behavioral thermostat and therefore the only trial that will produce precise energy savings estimates, without self-selection bias. Additionally, it is one of very few implementations of a recruit-and-deny RCT, which will make it of interest for other firms interested in using RCTs to assess energy savings. Finally, technology vendors and utility program managers will be interested in hearing how customers interacted with the device and whether they liked it.
Brian Arthur Smith Pacific Gas and Electric Company Home Inventories Identifies Savings Drivers from Home Energy Reports Programs that provide usage feedback and neighbor comparisons and that use experimental design to measure effects have been shown to be effective through many impact evaluations and academic studies. Although there are a large number of utilities running these types of programs, there has been little published to date that provides credible insight into the specific behaviors that drive the energy savings observed through billing analysis. Many evaluations compare rebate records to identify differences in purchasing behaviors of efficient appliances between treatment and control groups, but these differences tend to account for a relatively small amount of the energy savings observed in the treatment groups and ignore the fact that many households that qualify for such rebates fail to redeem them. A handful of impact evaluations employ self-report methodologies to identify energy savings drivers at a household level, but such survey-based research tends to be plagued by non-response bias and the simple fact that individual respondents are ill-equipped to report on their own subtle behavioral changes enacted over a period of months or years–and even more poorly equipped to report on the subtle behavioral changes of other household members. To address the need to understand the drivers of energy change from neighbor comparison programs, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) completed home inventories with over 700 households in treatment and control conditions of its Home Energy Reports program. This research included comprehensive socket inventories and the capturing of model numbers of recently-purchased TV sets so that their energy use could be coded. Researchers also administered a number of survey questions related to purchases and behaviors and results in an understanding of the subtle behavioral changes that underlie the energy savings observed in billing analyses. This session presents the design and results of this research, with a particular emphasis on best practices for sampling, contacting residents, selection of interviewers, maximizing response rates, minimizing refusals, and ensuring quality data capture. In addition to addressing the home inventory research, this session also presents the results of energy savings observed in the treatment groups through the use of hourly interval data. Interval data has been analyzed to distinguish between behavioral and purchase drivers of energy savings.
Kira Ashby Consortium for Energy Efficiency Keep the Change: The Persistence of Behavior Change from Social Norm Programs Recent impact evaluations from several behavior-based utility programs have shown promising initial energy savings, yet little is known about whether these savings persist over time—particularly after the program stimulus is removed. The ability to document the persistence of savings from behavioral programs has the potential to boost their cost effectiveness and enhance their credibility with regulators. To this end, several energy efficiency program administrators have begun to conduct persistence research on their behavior-based efforts. We propose an oral presentation that would highlight persistence research from two different iterations of one type of behavior-based program: Home Energy Report Programs. This presentation would explore persistence demonstrated from two examples of Home Energy Report programs—one in California and one in Washington state—both of which leverage social norms to change energy use behavior. In both programs, a number of customers who had been previously receiving energy reports stopped receiving the reports, and their energy use over the months and years that followed was compared to customers who continued to receive the reports during that time (as well as to a control group that never received reports). Both of these studies have persistence results already available; in one case, 75 percent of the program’s energy savings persisted for over a year after the program had ended. Based on these examples, there is promising evidence that the behavioral changes generated through energy efficiency programs can result in lasting shifts in energy use habits that can leave a more permanent mark on energy use. Attendees would come away from this presentation with examples of how the persistence of behavior-based programs can be tested as well as a deeper understanding of the potential persistence of energy savings from these programs.
Jonn Axsen Simon Fraser University Sustainable Lifestyles and Identities: Segmenting Consumers Based on Behaviors, Perceptions and Openness to Change The goal of this research is to better understand and characterize opportunities for a transition to sustainable consumer lifestyles. The needs and desires of consumers drive trends of increasing energy demand and resource consumption. Inevitably, transitions towards sustainability will require significant shifts in consumers’ purchase, use and disposal of goods. “Sustainable” practices may include a wide array of activities such as buying a fuel-efficient passenger vehicle, reducing water use, or buying organic food—and perceptions of sustainability will vary across individuals. We follow a conceptual framework based on social theories of lifestyle; lifestyles are packages of activities and objects that consumers experiment with and adopt (or reject) in an ongoing attempt to determine and express their identity. This lifestyle perspective looks beyond the individualistic models of behaviour that focus on consumer attitudes and are typically unable to explain consumption behaviour (e.g., the attitude-behaviour gap). Consumers are also heavily influenced by motivations to communicate and negotiate their identity with others in their social network—in part through the consumption of goods and services. Studying consumers through this lifestyle perspective enhances understanding of what activities are perceived as “sustainable” and how such activities are related to other lifestyle priorities. To date, most research on lifestyle and consumption is limited to speculative theory and in-depth case studies. In January 2013, we collected quantitative empirical consumer data through representative web-based surveys of U.S. (n = 1000) and Canadian (n = 1500) households. The survey instrument used several novel question scales to assess consumer engagement in general lifestyle activities (47 items), and engagement in and perceptions of different “green” activities (46 items) addressing issues such as energy savings, water consumption, and purchase of “green” products. We also assess consumer attitudes, values, and liminality (openness to change). We analyze this unique dataset using factor analysis to identify “packages” of activities that align with particular aspects of consumer identity. Cluster analysis is then used to identify consumer groups based on lifestyle, values and openness to change. These clusters help to characterize “green” consumers based on present activities and potential for change. Consumer lifestyle segments can statistically predict the adoption of emerging “sustainable” technologies and support for sustainability-oriented policies. We can also characterize and compare “green” consumers by region (between Canada and the U.S, and by province or State). Results inform the conceptual framework of lifestyle and sustainable consumption, guiding understandings of resource consumption and waste behaviour as well as informing sustainable policy design. Knowledge of the social context of sustainable lifestyle practices is highly valuable to policymakers, sustainability researchers, and industry as well as behaviour change practitioners in utilities and non-governmental organizations. The unique survey design will enhance research methods in the field of sustainable consumption, and results will help develop policy-relevant behavioural theory. The goal is to inform the design of policy to effectively address sustainability challenges such as climate change.
Joseph Bailey Simon Fraser University “Utility controlled charging” of plug-in electric vehicles: Will car buyers allow it? This study explores potential consumer acceptance of utility controlled charging (UCC) for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). UCC can be used to match the timing of PEV recharging with the availability of intermittent renewable electricity sources, such as wind energy. For UCC to be successful, PEV buyers must embrace it. Although technologically feasible, we don’t know under what conditions UCC might be acceptable. On the one hand, people might like using green energy, and saving money on their bill. On the other hand, they might not like the idea of losing PEV charge in the morning, and maybe don’t trust their utility. This study looks at these tradeoffs. To investigate these tradeoffs we implement a representative online survey of over 1500 Canadian new car buyers where respondents completed two discrete choice experiments that will be used to generate discrete choice models. Discrete choice modeling is a tool used to quantify consumer valuation and tradeoffs. With the first experiment, we look at what kind of PEVs respondents want to buy. After this, we link the first discrete choice experiment to the second by asking respondents how they would like to charge the PEV that they would like to buy. Specifically, we look at different tradeoffs in designing a UCC system, and elicit consumer preferences for i) the ‘proportion of renewable electricity used to charge their vehicle’, ii) the change in cost to their electricity bill and iii) the level of inconvenience associated with UCC (guaranteed battery state of charge in the following morning); all of which were considered relative to an uncontrolled charging scenario. We expect to find heterogeneity in demand patterns as opposed to a consensus among respondents. By using latent-class analysis, we seek to identify clusters of demand patterns and highlight the characteristics, if any, that respondents in these clusters have in common. We also expect that respondents who express more interest in PEVs prior to the consideration of the charging, will have a higher affinity for UCC and renewable energy than those who do not. Further, we also expect to observe different preferences among Canadian regions, where the media and political interests shape the priorities of respondents. Considering the behavioral component of UCC will help to reveal its value and inform the effective design of such a charging strategy. Outcomes of the research may influence policy decisions regarding PEV infrastructure development. More specifically, the latent class analysis will help with the development of region specific policies and infrastructure development. Our results will also inform stakeholders about the value of PEVs in increasing the use of intermittent renewable energy and providing grid management services throughout Canada.
Greg Baker Vermont Energy Investment Corporation Equipment Dashboards Improve Energy Use In business, you can’t manage something you’re not measuring. Companies that measure their energy consumption typically use that information at the management level to compare energy cost changes with corresponding changes in production volumes. This analysis usually takes place in the month after the actual energy use. More and more, businesses are putting the information about the real-time energy use of their equipment into the hands of the equipment operators—those who can control how that energy is used every day. A statewide energy efficiency utility, Efficiency Vermont, has helped one such business measure the energy cost per unit (EnPi) of its food processing production lines. Several meters send serial data to a database that then provides real-time and historical information to the operator through a visual “dashboard.” This information helps the operator know where and how to adjust the equipment so that EnPi can be improved. In this case study, the dashboard information is presented as a dial. If its indicator is in the red, the operator knows that the equipment is performing poorly relative to a similar production baseline; if the indicator is in the green, the operator knows that the equipment is performing well. This user-friendly and instantly understandable interface helps operators track progress on their production line’s energy performance. When the machine’s performance is in the red zone, the operator might need to call the maintenance department for some manual adjustments. More important, when performance is in the green zone, the operator can identify the conditions that are helping to make the production and energy consumption go right. This paper discusses the project’s implementation, describes types of behavior change from dashboard information in a production facility, presents data on the resulting production efficiency, and provides insights on the energy efficiency program’s effectiveness in engaging operations staff in improving overall energy efficiency.
Nicole Ballinger City of Seattle – Office of Sustainability & Environment Promoting Energy-Efficient Behaviors through Energy Benchmarking Ordinances 2013 BECC Conference Abstract Submitted by Nicole Ballinger, City of Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment Promoting Energy-Efficient Behaviors through Energy Benchmarking Ordinances The City of Seattle enacted its Energy Benchmarking and Reporting Ordinance into law in 2010 and is one of a growing number of US cities, including San Francisco, New York, Austin, and Washington DC with mandatory benchmarking laws. Seattle requires annual whole-building energy performance reports generated from EPA Portfolio Manager. The law was phased-in—large buildings (50,000 sq. ft. or greater) were required to report 2011 data in 2012 and smaller buildings (20,000 SF or greater) were required to report 2012 data in 2013. In all, nearly 4,000 commercial and multifamily buildings must benchmark and report, representing about 290 million sq. ft. of building space. The City currently has 2011 energy performance data on about 90% of the large commercial and multifamily buildings. This represents about 1,300 individual properties and more than 203 million sq. ft. of building space. Data for 2012 will be available in mid-summer 2013. This presentation will share Seattle’s experience and discuss why we believe mandatory benchmarking and annual reporting is an effective means to reach building owners, property managers, and others to increase energy use awareness and uptake of energy efficient measures and behaviors. Specifically, this session will delve into: – Energy benchmarking as a behavior that should be encouraged and promoted, especially among property managers. – Why mandatory efforts reach a broader population of building types and ownership than voluntary efforts to encourage benchmarking. – How Seattle increased awareness of benchmarking and ultimately compliance through its social marketing-inspired outreach strategy. – Some surprises about Seattle’s compliance rates: — Does the stick work? How compliance changed as the ordinance was increasingly enforced. — Who really wants to benchmark? Commercial vs. multifamily sector response to the ordinance. — Does size matter? Compliance of large vs. small-medium sized buildings. – Highlights of the energy performance of Seattle’s buildings: — By building type and size. — By buildings that complied early with the ordinance vs. those that waited (laggards). – How Seattle is bridging the gap between energy benchmarking and uptake of utility efficiency programs. – Lessons learned: what works for benchmarking outreach and what doesn’t.
Debbie Slobe Resource Media Seeing is Believing: Visual Storytelling Best Practices There’s a saying in TV newsrooms that “there are no non-visual stories, only non-visual reporters.” In other words, the lack of compelling visuals to tell a story is only an indicator of a failure of imagination. Today, every issue group operates like a newsroom, and every staffer has a duty to be a reporter, publisher and producer. Everything needs to be visual. Not just because the online world is hungrier than ever for visual content, but also because we have a greater understanding today of the science of communications. Research into the human brain tells us why pictures are so effective in reaching and engaging people, even which photos are the most effective for any given audience. Resource Media recently published online a best practices guide on visual storytelling called, “Seeing is Believing.” It is the culmination of two years of research into the art and the science of using pictures to influence, move and motivate people. A full list of reviewers, which included professionals in the fields of communications, neuroscience, advertising and academia, can be found in the Acknowledgements section. In this proposed BECC presentation Liz Banse will share the science behind visuals; visual communications strategies that will help attendees be more effective communicators; and set up a visual lab in the meeting room, where the group can look at samples from the climate and energy efficiency arenas, assessing what works and what doesn’t as we collectively try to harness the power of pictures to create change. All participants will leave the presentation with a greater grounding in the science of visual communications; new, more visually-oriented ways to develop communications strategies; and, a full quiver of tips and techniques that they can immediately apply to their work on climate and energy issues. Brain science: Banse will walk participants through the science of the brain and how it processes visual information, including neuroscience on how visual inputs play into people’s decisions or opinions. Participants will learn about the three main checkpoints in the brain that any piece of information passes through before a human makes a decision or decides to change a particular behavior, and how understanding those checkpoints can help you shape your communication or story more successfully to get past the “gatekeepers.” Visual communications strategy: Banse will translate the brain science on visuals into a checklist that the participants can use to guide their own communications planning. This section and the following on case studies will be woven together, so that the recommended strategic approaches to visual storytelling are grounded in real world examples. Case studies from the field: Participants will review recent case studies from the climate and energy arenas. This will be an interactive session where we analyze how the different principles of visual communications were applied – or not – to these communications efforts and how they played out with the intended audiences.
Jo Tiffany Alliance to Save Energy Empowered Students Foster Behavior Change: University Green Office Certification Trained and empowered students are very effective in fostering and creating behavior change and a culture of sustainability on their campuses. This session will share the story of how one team of college student interns in the southeast region developed a green office certification program to infuse energy efficiency and sustainability into their university’s academics. The student-driven project enhances student and community life by raising awareness about energy efficiency and sustainability, and is an attempt to integrate all faculty members in a variety of disciplines into the sustainability movement. By creating several categories, a series of check lists and a point system, the overall goal is to reduce energy costs associated with a typical office and foster sustainable behaviors in their staff and faculty on the campus. In partnership with their office of environmental stewardship, student interns designed the green office certification program and received approval from university executive staff to roll the program out in offices across campus. Based on their research of existing certification models, the program includes two basic components. The first component relies on giving credit to the individual’s efforts towards energy efficiency. The second component strives to include and give credit and attention to issues of the collective, such as the buildings or departments. All participants complete five basic steps: 1. Review the checklist and access the online calculator. 2. Schedule an energy audit with a student intern. 3. Determine your individual and building certifications. 4. Schedule periodic audits to increase your level of certification. 5. Claim your incentive! In addition to energy efficiency, behavior changes are counted in several categories: recycling; waste reduction; public relations, events and communications; transportation; kitchens and break rooms; and extra credit. The point system awards green “leaves”, with a maximum of five leaves indicating the greatest level of sustainability. Like AASHE stars and LEED certification, the ranking is based on the number of points earned. After an initial audit participants are able to increase their number of leaves. The students will collaborate with the office of environmental stewardship and other stakeholders to gather and analyze results, evaluate the program, and compile and report metrics.
Claudia Barriga UC Davis – WCEC Tiny Steps: Engaging residents in small energy saving actions through simple tools The paper reports a two-month controlled field test of a behavior change model for three energy saving actions in a Zero Net Energy community. The Fogg Behavior Model claims that in order for any behavior to occur, 3 things need to happen: a person must be Motivated (want to do the behavior), have the Ability (be capable of performing behavior), and be Triggered (be prompted or reminded to perform the behavior). A relationship exists between Ability and Motivation, such that a high level of Motivation can overcome even a low Ability to accomplish a behavior. Conversely, a person can be persuaded to perform a behavior they have low motivation for if it is very simple to accomplish. Most behavior change efforts focus on propping up a person’s motivation; however, this model focuses first on making sure a reminder (Trigger) is always in place and then simplifying the behavior (thus ensuring the presence of Ability) as much as possible. We report a comparison of behavior change between a group that was provided tools that enabled residents to perform an energy saving behaviors (shower timers to take shorter showers, clothes drying racks to avoid using clothes dryers) and others that were provided the same tools, plus a “trigger” device: a button tracker that acted as a reminder of the behavior and provided feedback and encouragement. Participants were asked to try to take shorter showers, to hang dry part of their laundry and to turn off their computers at night. Results indicate that both interventions (tools only and tools+device) increased the energy saving behaviors significantly, both as compared to previous patterns of behavior, and to a control group in the same community. The device group, which we had expected to be significantly better than the “tools only” group, did not perform any better, but participants reported positive reactions towards the devices. Participants’ experiences with the device and the tools were positive. In particular regarding the devices, participants found it difficult to think of disadvantages to its presence. Participants were also appreciative of the tools (dry rack and shower timer), but their open ended responses showed that these provided less “excitement” than the tracking devices, which made people feel “special” and even “futuristic”. These positive feelings may have long term impacts on behavior change that the two month test was not able to assess. Findings also indicated that commitments to engage in temporary energy saving actions were successful in creating awareness and behavior changes around those actions, and produced motivation to persist in energy saving behaviors in the long term. Engagement in the actions seemed to act as a trial period during which residents learned that the behavior was possible to perform , and that it had positive consequences that go beyond energy savings or environmentalism (saving time, protecting clothing, etc.). Engagement with the actions also seemed to trigger positive feelings about energy savings and the individual’s capability to do something about the environment.
Sally Barros City of San Leandro San Leandro: Doin’ it For Themselves – the DIY residential energy upgrade for working class communities San Leandro is Doin’ it For Themselves – the DIY residential energy upgrade for working class communities San Leandro launched a full range of energy efficiency programs in 2009, supported by Federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) dollars. We joined other Bay Area cities in the state-wide utility company-sponsored Energy Upgrade program and also set aside EECBG funds for loans to participate in that contractor-led approach. Despite Energy Upgrade’s state-wide, multi-million dollar marketing and outreach effort, only five San Leandro households took part in the program in its three-year life span. Fortunately, San Leandro embarked on a parallel alternative program: DIY energy efficiency classes paired with in-home pre- and post-improvement energy assessments. San Leandro residents attended one of 15 three-hour evening classes offered by the Building inspectors. During the same three-year life of the EECBG program, over 300 people learned the basic techniques for caulking, sealing, insulation and fixture upgrades, along with a basic tutorial about energy issues and climate action. San Leandro’s Building Department used EECBG funding to train 100% of their staff in the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) and to invest in the basic tools of energy assessment. The crew piles their trucks with the standard assessment kit: a Blower Door set, a Duct Blaster, Infrared Cameras and EPA DIY pamphlet to conduct a two-hour field assessment. Each homeowner walks through the assessment with the building inspectors to get a visceral and visual demonstration of building envelope leakage. Homes are sealed up and then negative pressure created through the Blower Door. Photos are snapped with the Infrared Camera showing psychedelic-colored shots where heat is leaking through un-insulated gaps in ceilings and walls. Breezes are felt through cracks around windows and hidden channels throughout the house. Homeowners receive a detail menu of actions they can take and away they go to local hardware stores to buy their supplies and get to work. The success rate through the DIY program is outstanding: over 300 residents attended the classes. 43 homeowners went on to sign up for in-home assessments, passed a post-improvement audit showing a 15% improvement in building envelope leakage and were then entitled to a $400 rebate. Records show that the improvements made by homeowners themselves were well above that minimum level and the improvements cost much less than the contractor-based program offered by the utility companies. Our building inspection staff are now much more aware of energy issues and have a library of tools to use for future energy assessments. Our EECBG funds have dried up, but we are looking to spin off this unique program to other cities as a model.
Stephen Bell Illinois Green Economy Network Behavior Change and Energy Reducation in the Higher Education Sector Learn how the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) offered three distinct initiatives designed to promote behavior change and measurable energy reduction within the business and higher education sectors in Illinois. IGEN is a president-led consortium of all Illinois community colleges that creates and mobilizes innovative, collaborative partnerships among higher education institutions, businesses and community organizations to establish sustainable best practices, promote energy demand reduction projects, and drive growth of the green economy. For our Energy Management Training program, IGEN subcontracted with six gas and electric efficiency training companies to offer 14 different energy efficiency and green practices education and training programs from February 26 through May 16, 2013 to over 1200 participants across the state. Also, in April 2013, IGEN held the second annual Implementing Behavior Change for Energy Efficiency Conference. At the conference, presenters with diverse experiences in implementing behavior change for energy efficiency campaigns on higher education campuses discussed emerging policies, innovative programs, effective communication strategies, and important research findings that demonstrate the power of social and behavior change for reducing energy use. Lastly, we implemented a Behavior Change for Energy Efficiency Pilot Project, in which four Illinois community colleges (College of Lake County, John A. Logan College, Prairie State College, and Southwestern Illinois College) helped to analyze the effectiveness of combining building energy dashboards with occupant engagement strategies to produce measurable reductions in energy use. The pilot project consists of three components: (1) Installing (or utilizing pre-existing) building energy dashboard displays and sub-metering for electric and gas consumption in a dedicated building on each community college campus; (2) Implementing an energy conservation campaign geared at creating behavior change in the same building that is sub-metered and houses the real time building dashboard display; and (3) Data collection and analysis performed as a research study by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to help understand the effectiveness of energy efficiency behavior change campaigns on campuses. Attend this session to find out how IGEN’s unique statewide cooperative approach yields extraordinary results in energy savings. Learning Objectives: 1. Discover how IGEN builds innovative partnerships, open communication and collaborative approaches to offering relevant behavior change and energy reduction training opportunities, leveraging community colleges’ reach into local communities to drive down energy use both at the colleges and across their districts. 2. Learn how IGEN assists community colleges in their quest to measure energy use, implement behavior change, reduce resource consumption, and put actual electricity and gas usage reduction into action on their campuses.
Dawn Bement Skumatz Economic Research Associates Inc. Harnessing the Power of Social Marketing to Fuel the Next Frontier in Recycling: Food Scrap Diversion Cities such as Portland, Seattle, Boulder, Austin and scores of others know that to reach ‘zero waste’ it is integral that they keep food scraps out of the landfill – food is the last “double digit” constituent in the disposal stream. Many of these cities have already achieved high ‘traditional’ recycling rates and are now faced with the daunting task of changing the mind set of their residents and businesses surrounding the value of food scraps. Unlike many energy efficiency programs, the food scraps programs are nearly strictly behavior-related with next to no widgets involved. It is simple. Depending on program design, all participants need to do is put food that traditionally goes in a trash container into in identical organics container. No new trucks; often no new containers. However, over and over, cities come to the realization this has been easier said than done. Some cities find only a tiny share of households have adopted the behavior,. barely a blip — but others have found very strong adoption. We examine data gathered from more than 50 communities to identify factors distinguishing winning programs and motivators. In this paper, the authors provide a brief overview of the ‘state of the nation’ when it comes to food scrap diversion including where it is happening, the climate related benefits of the programs, how they relate to energy programs, and the barriers to future growth. After the brief overview, the paper focuses on the social marketing and other tools being used successfully to change food scrap disposal behaviors. The authors provide details on tools and techniques that have a high likelihood of crossover to the energy sector including competitions and recognition, feedback mechanisms, and billing, rates, and incentives. We discuss the role perceived barriers such as the ‘yuck’ factor and odors / pests play in program participation, efforts program managers have used to dispel these issues, and what this may mean for energy efficiency program managers elsewhere. We highlight a few of the most successful programs, the campaigns they have adopted to divert food and reach zero waste, and the impacts these programs have had on food waste diversion. Finally, we summarize “lessons learned” on how these successes can be translated to other sectors and communities.
Ingo Bensch Energy Center of Wisconsin From Participants to Kilowatt-Hours: An Impact Evaluation of a Game A Wisconsin-based non-profit organization, Cool Choices, has been helping to blaze a new trail in behavior change design with a gamification approach to promoting sustainable behavior. The approach attempts to make sustainable actions fun and draws on social dynamics at the workplace to spur sustainability at home. Past BECC attendees have had the opportunity to hear about the Cool Choices approach, but what effects does such a gamification approach have on behavior and sustainability? Now, research conducted by the Energy Center of Wisconsin offers answers, as well as insights for other gamification efforts. In this presentation and paper, we will discuss: • the evaluation’s methodology, • the game’s impacts on players’ electricity and natural gas, • one-year persistence, and • lessons learned. The game: Two hundred and twenty employees of Miron Construction participated in a game developed by Cool Choices to promote sustainable behavior in their personal lives. Between May and November 2011, they claimed 3,500 unique actions connected with sustainability for which they received points in the game. About half of those actions were new activities by the player. The evaluation: The Energy Center of Wisconsin conducted an impact study of a sample of participants one year after the game ended. We looked at actions claimed by players, pre-game assumptions about the energy-savings potential of those actions, post-game interviews about high-impact actions, and whole-house billing analyses for one of the first in-depth studies of the impact of gamification on energy use. We will share our approach, which we think can serve as a practical model for impact studies of moderately-sized, innovative behavior-based programs. The results: We found that most players took steps that would save them electricity, but a few of the actions promoted by the game were responsible for the bulk of the impact. Based on post-game interviews, we estimated annualized electricity savings to be around 700 to 900 kWh per active player, while our billing analysis pointed to somewhat lower usage reductions of 400 kWh. These savings amount to a few percent of total electricity consumption. Furthermore, persistence one year after the game was fairly strong for most of the impactful actions, but varied by type of action. Lessons learned: Among the lessons learned, we will discuss: • where the energy savings came from; • how widely some players’ actions deviated from the game’s promoted actions; • what the variation in actual behavior means for game design, scoring, and tracking; and • the practical challenges of obtaining billing data and developing control groups for behavioral interventions like Cool Choices.
Janice Berman Pacific Gas and Electric Company From Data to Customer Insight – New Tools for Enhancing the Utility-customer Relationship Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is increasingly leveraging data to optimize its energy efficiency portfolio and tailor the services and programs it provides its customers to help them save energy and money. In this session, PG&E will share its efforts to develop new tools to offer actionable insights targeted to managers, program implementers, sales teams and customer utilizing vast amounts of energy and demographic data. By combining diverse data on energy usage, customer characteristics, propensity to adopt energy efficiency, and geography, these new tools enable PG&E and its partners to: • Evaluate the effectiveness of energy efficiency programs across customer segments, sectors, and geographies • Identify opportunities for enhanced, targeted product offerings • Develop targeted education and outreach campaigns • Educate customers on their energy usage and opportunities for reduction. In addition, PG&E is using these tools to educate local governments and municipalities on energy usage and develop more actionable climate action and sustainability plans. The tools provide communities with insights into energy use and savings opportunities at the level of neighborhoods and sectors (e.g. food processing, biotech, hospitals, and schools). In this session, PG&E will describe the tools it has developed, share stories about successes, and describe some challenges utilizing data in a utility environment and comment on future opportunities for integrating of data to gain additional actionable insights for enhancing the utility-customer relationship.
Matt Biggar Stanford University Using the Reasonable Person Model to Explore Personal Transportation Pro-Environmental Behavior Approaches to Environmental Behavior: The Reasonable Person Model (RPM) Many theories and models have sought to explain or predict pro-environmental behavior (Monroe, 2003; Kollmuss & Agyeman, 2002; Heimlich & Ardoin, 2008). Research on human behavior suggests an egoistic orientation, or self-interest, as the dominant orientation for humans (DeYoung, 2000; Lindenberg and Steg, 2007), while other studies find that external or contextual factors are also critical to influencing pro-environmental behaviors in particular (Kaplan & Kaplan, 2009; Steg and Vlek, 2002; Kollmuss &Agyeman, 2002, Schultz, 2002). To this end, the Reasonable Person Model (RPM) emphasizes the importance of considering the conditions, or external factors, that motivate and sustain pro-environmental behavior (Kaplan & Kaplan,2009). Coupling models that explore self-interest with those emphasizing a deeper understanding of external factors may, therefore, illuminate how to increase motivation to engage in pro-environmental behaviors. RPM is based on three components that relate to evolutionary human needs and how the ‘environment’, or external factors, can support such needs (Kaplan & Kaplan, 2009). First, humans need to explore and understand, which leads to developing mental models. Second, humans need to be effective and feel competent. Third, humans need to engage in meaningful action through participating with others and feel that they are making a difference. Difficult to achieve, high-impact pro-environmental behaviors may be particularly dependent on external factors that address these human needs and, thus, may make such types of behavior more desirable (Corbett, 2005). One example of such a behavioral category is personal transportation—changing personal transportation choices can be difficult, yet can be high impact, visible, and socially rewarded. Although Kaplan and Kaplan (2003, 2009, 2011) have applied RPM to a range of issues, the model remains relatively untested in relation to pro-environmental behavior. RPM is a large, flexible framework that can be applied to a variety of situations through context-specific approaches (Kaplan and Kaplan, 2009). To apply RPM directly to pro-environmental behavior, the belief constructs from an empirically tested theory, such as the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), may assist in creating specific, testable elements. Applying RPM: Personal Transportation Choices among Teacher Institute Participants With this background, I used RPM to explore the influence of external factors on five participants in a teacher institute in which the participants developed and implemented plans for changing personal transportation behaviors over a three-month period. I used interviews, open-ended survey items, and content analysis of written plans to explore how RPM and TPB might apply to evidence from the participants’ experiences. I employed a three-step, systematic coding process, involving a combination of a priori and open coding. Findings suggest the strengths and limitations of applying RPM to understand what individuals need to engage in and sustain pro-environmental behavior within personal transportation. In this presentation, I will share the major findings of this research study and discuss how RPM and related theories may inform the design, implementation, and evaluation of interventions with desired outcomes related to personal transportation pro-environmental behavior.
Katherine Binder Western Michigan University Office for Sustainability Energy Consumption Feedback and Behavior Change: A Literature Review and Pilot Study The technology of real-time energy consumption displays has advanced rapidly over recent years. The theory supporting their implementation assumes that the presence of consumption feedback elicits energy-related behavior change. Despite the prolific development of these energy dashboard technologies, rigorous research on their efficacy is still lacking. It is unclear what role the type, amount, and form of feedback play in the resource reduction behavior change process. The effects of the varying forms of feedback with different building occupant populations demand study. In an effort to determine the highest leverage behavior change programs, WMU has embarked upon a three-year research project designed to examine these questions. To ensure that this research fills a gap in the current research literature and strategically contributes to this line of research, a comprehensive literature review was performed. The literature review analyzes behavioral energy reduction research by categorizing studies and drawing conclusions regarding the types of interventions found to be most effective. Intervention categories included antecedent and consequence-based, group and individual, ongoing and one-time behavior change, feedback form and form of resulting behavior change. These variables were assessed individually and in relation to each other in order to evaluate intervention packages that might improve intervention effectiveness. Effectiveness was rated in terms of energy and greenhouse gas reduction, overt behavior change, and creation of a culture of sustainability. Pilot data following the first research phase will be presented and the literature review will be discussed as it pertains to the development of the research structure and methodology.
Tom Bowman Bowman Global Change Engaging Early Adapters: Results of a pilot program to engage small businesses in climate action Building a low-carbon economy will take years-to-decades, yet the consequences of long delays in reducing carbon emissions are projected to be profound. A smart strategy would encourage rapid, economy-wide adoption of energy efficiency and low-carbon practices while longer-term processes evolve. The nation’s 30 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are necessary actors in this strategy. They are also ideally positioned to move quickly and decisively. SMEs are inherently competitive and nimble, and their entrepreneurial leaders are receptive to changes that improve the bottom line. Yet, to date, efforts to engage SMEs have been ineffective. SME owners are fiercely independent, and they suffer from a scarcity of knowledge and financial resources. Moreover, sustainability success stories tend to focus on projects that require prohibitively large capital investments or expensive consultants. What would it take to create a rapid response to climate change with near-term actions that provide immediate environmental and financial benefits at prices that small business owners can afford? In this paper, Tom Bowman presents the results of a unique approach to SME climate action. A pilot “GreenAction Workshop” was developed based on Bowman Design Group’s award-winning strategy and the work of other small business climate leaders. The workshop was organized to guide SME owners through writing their own Green Business Plans with long- and near-term goal setting, identifying cost-effective metrics, prioritizing actions, and building a cost-benefit approach that rewards progress. The GreenAction Workshop design is based on three ideas: (1) a structured and specific approach builds executive-level commitment and enables progress; (2) a “make every decision a green decision” strategy removes an important psychological and misinformation barrier about the perceived high cost of action; and (3) peer-to-peer social signaling can be an important driver of commitment. Indeed, small business owners tend to trust their peers, which is the basis of the collaborative approach involving approximately twenty participating firms. Mr. Bowman developed the GreenAction Workshop pilot program in collaboration with the Long Beach Green Business Council (Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce), and with the support of the local Small Business Development Council and the Aquarium of the Pacific. This session will report on the program design, the case studies upon which the model was built, and the results of the pilot workshop (June 1, 2013). The session will also report on progress by participating companies after three months such as business owner commitments, low-carbon actions implemented and early returns on financial performance.
Ali Bozorgi ICF International Achieving Deep Savings by integrating Feedback/Behavior-Based Programs into DSM Portfolios The goal of this presentation is to quantify the impacts of various feedback/behavior-based programs within a larger Demand Side Management (DSM) portfolio, using recent program data, while explicitly accounting for uncertainties associated with their performance. It gives program planners and administrators a clearer picture of how much they can expect from their portfolio when integrating feedback programs into their DSM planning models. The program planners/administers are increasingly challenged to integrate new cost-effective programs with deep saving potential into their DSM portfolios in order to meet the state-mandated saving targets, i.e. Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS). In a previous study, authors projected that the savings from a typical DSM portfolio would fall 28% short of an average EERS target in 2020. Over the past few years, feedback programs have been recognized as a mechanism to provide deeper energy savings and higher customer satisfaction. However, due to the limitations of robust ex post program evaluation data, there are significant uncertainties associated with the performance of these emerging programs. This study aims to provide more insight into the impacts of various type of feedback programs on a real DSM portfolio through modeling five feedback type scenarios, including enhanced billing, estimated feedback, daily/weekly feedback, real-time feedback, and real-time plus feedback. The savings in this analysis were captured in two parts: 1) a direct reduction in household energy use which is due to changing energy-use behaviors, and 2) increased participation in existing energy efficiency programs/technologies. Through an in-depth literature review, recent performance data, and available surveys on feedback programs, required assumptions were developed for each scenario. Key assumptions include energy-use reduction percentages, savings lifetime, increased participation rates in existing residential energy efficiency programs, and annual program participation. Due to uncertainties around these assumptions, a range of probable values was identified for each assumption instead of a single-point estimate. A Monte Carlo technique (@Risk software) was then used to model the uncertainties and assess the risk associated with the performance of feedback programs within the DSM portfolio. The result of this analysis confirms the findings of the previous studies regarding the significance of residential feedback programs in providing deep savings. It shows that by 2020 these programs have the potential to increase the total DSM portfolio electricity savings between 1% – 4% of 2008 electricity sales for a representative utility, depending on the type of feedback programs. This presentation helps advance the state of practice in DSM planning by taking a holistic view of feedback/behavior-based programs, and by conducting a detailed statistical analysis on real field data and a respected DSM analytics tool. It provides useful information on risk and uncertainty associated with integrating feedback programs into DSM portfolios and helps the program planners and administrators to make more informed decisions about their portfolio. Attendees will come away with both a better sense of how such programs can support the bigger picture, and with more ill concrete more accurate estimates for specific program potential.
Daniel Bresette Maryland Energy Administration Building a Persuasive Business Case for Energy Efficiency: A Functional Guide for Energy Efficiency Champions The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and Catalyst Financial Group (Catalyst) have prepared an approach to encourage energy efficiency (EE) projects that focuses on empowering “Champions” within organizations. MEA and Catalyst understand it frequently takes a Champion to lead a project through decision-making processes and convince management that low-risk, cost-effective EE investments make good business sense. Our presentation features an interactive discussion of the role of Champions . . . and the common hurdles that can stop them in their tracks. It also examines the roots of these hurdles and teaches the elements of a successful strategy to “get to yes.” Our interactive presentation is based on a comprehensive document published by MEA and Catalyst—”Getting to ‘Yes’ for Energy Efficiency: A Guide to Developing a Persuasive Business Case for Energy Efficiency in Commercial and Corporate Properties”—that is designed to teach energy efficiency Champions how to: • Engage an effective support team. • Use language that resonates with decision-makers. • Calculate the true cost of delaying EE investments. • Align the EE project with the organization’s decision-making processes. • Employ the “psychology of buying” to reinforce decisions to invest. • Identify real and “smoke screen” hurdles. • Overcome hurdles with specific recommendations, strategies, and tools. • Access key resources for more in-depth information. An informed Champion can help their organization embrace the business case for energy efficiency so it can be properly evaluated and compared with competing uses of resources. Our presentation begins with a review of and discussion about our four-part strategy to win project approval and the common organizational and financial hurdles such as: “We Don’t Have the Technical Expertise,” “This Isn’t Our Core Competency,” “Other Projects Offer Better Returns,” and “We Can’t Afford It.” Our presentation provides session participants insight into the challenges underlying each hurdle and specific tools and resources to use when building a successful business case to influence decision-makers. The methodology of the business case approach was developed by MEA and Catalyst based on experience with state and utility programs, a review of best-practices, interviews with stakeholders representing different building sectors, and a vetting process with experts in EE financing and program management. Research funding for this project was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of a grant to develop new pilot and program initiatives to accelerate EE retrofits in commercial building sectors.
Melinda Briana Epler Change Catalyst The Strategy of Storytelling The Strategy of Storytelling We are inundated with stories throughout our day – many of them working to change our behavior in some way. From advertisements on the bus to packaging on our cereal boxes, from tags on our clothing to leaflets in our mailbox… How can we utilize best practices from advertising and marketing to tell consumer-targeted stories that break through the noise? Public health communicators have studied for years how to effectively change behaviors – learning why some programs move us to change our lives, while others build barriers to change. How can we utilize best practices from public health communications to create awareness, deepen knowledge, motivate action and sustain change? Borrowing from best practices in marketing, advertising and public health communications, we can tell stories that truly change behavior. I have spent my life learning how to effectively change behavior through storytelling – here are the practical, step-by-step implications for generating sustainable behavior change. 1. What is a story? 2. Developing your theory of change • Understanding your market • Identifying barriers to entry • Creating a roadmap 3. Designing an experience around a behavior change model • Creating a target market profile • Resources for finding behavior change models 4. Going beyond awareness: how and where storytelling plays a role in catalyzing change • Understanding the stories you need to tell 5. Choosing media channels for telling your stories • Finding people where they are • Creating an integrated multi-media campaign 6. Anatomy of a story • Content: Text, infographics, video • Multiple media: one channel isn’t enough • Connections: emotional, personal, experiential • Information: intellectual reasoning, key understanding • Story arc: beginning, middle, end • Tension & release: antagonist, protagonist • Bite-sized details: practical, inspirational, actionable • Consistent: the same story across multiple media 7. Picking your storyteller(s) • Trusted • Values-aligned 8. Measuring, evaluating, learning and tweaking • How to measure quantitative analytics • How to interpret qualitative anecdotes • Keys to communicating changes/pivots 9. Locating and driving content in your community • Bringing out the story in your audience • Motivating mentoring through storytelling 10. Examples of good multi-media storytelling campaigns • High cost • Medium cost • Low cost
Tami Buhr Opinion Dynamics Staying on Target: Optimal Community Selection Techniques for Community-Based Programs Energy efficiency program administrators across the country are using community-based initiatives to generate energy and demand savings among groups that can benefit the most—economically or culturally marginalized populations. These programs typically engage community groups and local governments to help market energy efficiency programs within the community. A particular challenge for these programs are customers who earn too much to qualify for low-income programs but yet make too little to afford investments in energy efficiency upgrades. Locating and engaging these customers can be difficult. Unlike low income programs, which often use rate classifications to identify and qualify customers, there is no simple way to identify other underserved customers. A community-based program that focuses on communities with a high concentration of disadvantaged customers is one solution. Once communities are identified, program administrators have effective marketing and outreach strategies for engaging a community with energy efficiency programs. What is less clear is the communities they should target. This question is pivotal to the success of any community-based initiative, yet not much attention has been given to it. This paper will describe one program’s attempt to answer this question. The program is based in the northeastern United States and has employed microtargeting to identify communities for inclusion in its community-based program. As part of the effort, program administrators utilized GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to identify optimal communities for targeting utilizing census data, past participation information, and energy usage data. Furthermore, the paper will examine how, drawing on the knowledge of the barriers to participation in the target communities, the program administrators utilized intervention strategies to address each of the identified barriers. The paper will provide the reader with a toolkit of strategies and considerations for identifying and selecting communities with the greatest potential for success and integrating design elements aimed at effectively reducing the barriers to energy efficiency. While the findings presented in this paper will be specific to a single effort, the strategies and tactics can be applied more broadly across a variety of efforts.
Adam Burke Opinion Dynamics Who Put Those LEDs in the Closet? An Examination of Remaining Lighting Savings in C&I Facilities Commercial lighting programs are nearly ubiquitous, and the penetration of T8s and CFLs has grown steadily for years. However, the saturation of efficient lighting, and lighting controls, has not kept pace. Does this represent an unmet opportunity, or have customers only made improvements in spaces where lighting is used most? In this study we will illuminate spaces (i.e., physical space-types) where operational and behavioral drivers – combined with inefficient technology – point to remaining opportunity for savings. At a time when utilities and regulators are questioning the cost-effectiveness of CFLs – and soon other lighting technologies – we will take a more granular look into commercial and industrial facilities, to see whether more could (and should) be done to encourage improved control strategies or upgrades in specific areas of the building. This study of nearly 350 commercial & industrial facilities examines installed lighting technology and operational practices by commercial space “type” – such as manufacturing, warehouse, food preparation and hallways. We will overlay efficient lighting penetration and saturation findings with lighting run times and existing control strategies for each space type, to describe how much energy is currently being used in these spaces and how much is being wasted. The current state of lighting in this baseline study reflects not only organizational decision-making regarding investment criteria and perceptions about payback, but market transformation effects, potentially related to energy efficiency programs. Customers in the study area have been exposed to Commercial lighting programs for five years. We will contextualize research findings in light of these market effects, discuss the interplay of organizational decision-making and efficiency programs, and present suggestions for how energy efficiency programs (such as direct install programs) could close the gap in certain spaces. This study is unique in the primary data collection methods used, including telephone interviews, site visits that collected square footage and data on every fixture in each facility – including the fixture, ballast and lamp(s), expected hours of use, and controls – and light logger analysis to calibrate customer- and auditor-reported hours of use estimates. The sample spans a broad range of Commercial and Industrial business segments and facility sizes. With this rich data we are able to identify spaces where (a) equipment investment may have been disproportionate to run times, (b) where under-considered operational and behavioral practices, in combination with inefficient equipment, may indicate opportunity for future updates, and (c) where efficient lighting may exist, but substantial savings from lighting controls could be realized with advanced controls or behavioral interventions. This analysis of technology vs. behavioral will be meaningful to program designers, implementers and evaluators in the BECC audience.
Lynda Webb Loughborough University Energy Demand Reduction in Family Homes: Using Multi Disciplinary Methods to Unpick the Complexity Energy demand reduction in family homes: using multi disciplinary methods to unpick the complexity Richard Buswell Loughborough University, UK In 2010, the UK government, through the UK Research Council, funded a number of projects based around reducing energy demand through ICT; the ‘LEEDR: Low Effort Energy Demand Reduction’ was a four year project funded under this programme. The overarching aim of the work was to understand how to develop energy reduction intervention measures that would have a significant, long-lasting impact on energy consumption in the home and that would require the least effort to implement by the home owner. Energy demand reduction is a complex mix of behavior, values, technology, physics, commercial and social pressures. Family homes in particular are a challenging space because of the dynamics of changing lifestyles and the negotiation around energy use in addition to the large variation in the systems that service homes with hot water, heat, light and power. The LEEDR project used a tri-discipline approach to study 20 family homes in the UK over 3 years. The Lens’ of Social Science, Design and Engineering used sensory ethnography, persona building and future gazing techniques and high resolution monitoring (power, gas, hot water, presence, temperatures) to gain insights. The project focused on targeting and developing interventions, exploring the future landscapes for these homes, developing better modeling and monitoring techniques, understanding practices in the home and how these relate to energy. This presentation will report on the findings from the work and report on where the multi-disciplinary aspects of the research had particular benefit.
Adrian Camilleri Duke University Scale and metric design as choice architecture tools In recent years the extent, cause, and reaction to climate change has been a hot button issue. Despite continued doubts among members of the general public, scientists almost universally concur that anthropogenic climate change is occurring and will have a devastating impact on human civilization. The accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide (CO2) produced from fossil fuel combustion, is the primary human cause of climate change. One of the main sources of CO2 emissions is from transport, particularly passenger vehicle transport. In light of this evidence, various policies have been advanced to reduce CO2 emissions and curb the threats associated with climate change. In the context of passenger vehicle transport, one of the earliest policy tools has been to provide consumers with fuel consumption information via fuel economy labels. In recent years there has been a growing interest in using behavioral decision insights to design better product labels. We continued this research approach in two online experiments. We examined whether vehicle preferences could be shifted toward more fuel-efficient vehicles by manipulating the metric (consumption vs. cost of gas) and scale (100 miles, vs.15,000 miles, vs. 100,000 miles) upon which fuel economy information was expressed. Specifically, participants made a number of hypothetical binary choices between two vehicles that traded off on price and fuel economy. We also measured a number of individual difference variables relevant to car purchase decisions including environmental attitude, discount rate, and cognitive reflection. Our primary finding was that provision of cost information relative to consumption information could shift preferences, but the direction of this effect depended on the scale and payback period of the vehicle. The contribution of our work is threefold. First, we extend previous label design research in the contexts of nutrition and appliance energy efficiency to vehicle fuel economy where we find most fuel efficient vehicles are chosen when fuel economy information is presented as the cost of gas over 100,000 miles. Second, we reveal a new psychological mechanism contributing to the effect of scale changes on choice, specifically, anchoring on the provided scale. Third, we clarify that the benefits associated with an expanded cost metric work by increasing sensitivity to fuel economy information in general rather than increasing sensitivity to total costs in particular. We conclude that policy-makers should initiate programs that communicate fuel efficiency information in terms of costs over an expanded, lifetime scale.
Nicolette Caperello UC Davis Do You Mind if I Plug in My Car? How Etiquette Shapes PEV Drivers’ Vehicle Charging Behavior Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) engage drivers in an essential new behavior—plugging the car into the electrical grid to charge the vehicles’ batteries. Broadly, it has been assumed that if away-from-home charging infrastructure is in place and PEV drivers know of it, they will perceive an opportunity to charge. The experiences of early PEV drivers cause us to rethink this assumption. Drivers report a lack of what they call “etiquette,” i.e., rules to guide their behavior and their expectations of how other PEV drivers ought to behave in these new social interactions. PEV drivers want widely shared, understood, and practiced charging guidelines in order to feel comfortable and confident in charging their vehicles away from their homes. This study uses an inductive thematic analysis of transcripts, amended by field notes, of interviews of 28 PEV driving households in San Diego County, California in Spring, 2012. Themes emerged within two types of away from home charging. First, public chargers available to any PEV driver were the sites of multiple situations in which drivers’ perceived a lack of rules or conflicts between different systems of rules; both were described as inhibiting the use of public chargers. Second, workplace charging adds an additional layer of rules and possibly resources that may either inhibit or encourage PEV charging by employees. If PEV markets and charger networks continue to grow, charging will be shaped by additional systems of rules and regulations, e.g., those governing financial transactions. Our results suggest that new rules may create as much uncertainty as guidance if they are not widely known and practiced.
Leo Carrillo PG&E PG&E’s 2013-14 Commercial Whole Building Performance Demonstration PG&E’s 2013-14 Commercial Whole Building Performance Demonstration As a participant in the 2013 Behavior, Energy and Climate Change (BECC) Conference, PG&E proposes to present an overview of its 2013/14 Commercial Whole Building Performance Demonstration and to share its initial findings related to program design and launch. The Demonstration will test the viability of a comprehensive, performance-based approach to incentivizing a diverse array of energy efficiency projects and behavioral treatments designed to achieve energy savings of 10% or more in existing commercial buildings, with premium incentives tied to post-installation energy savings that are estimated using interval meter data. The goal of this “proof of concept” is to show that whole building, performance-based programs can serve as a cost-effective vehicle for incentivizing deep energy savings, including types of savings that are difficult or cost-prohibitive to estimate through engineering calculations or on-site monitoring. Examples of such savings include operational savings enabled by advanced building controls and behavioral savings induced by strategies and campaigns targeting building tenant and maintenance personnel. Incentivizing and quantifying behavioral savings is an area of growing focus at PG&E, and the Demonstration is intended to provide another example of how behavioral and operational savings can help program administrators to achieve their ambitious energy savings goals. To encourage both persistence and behavioral savings, PG&E expects to include energy management software and/or information products as part of its offering to participants in the Demonstration. In addition, the Demonstration will utilize a “whole facility” approach to estimate savings effects, using either simulation or billing analysis. With the growing prevalence of interval meters, especially among small-to-mid-sized commercial buildings, utilities have an opportunity to determine how empirical modeling (or “analytical”) approaches using interval meter data can reduce the cost of highly reliable savings estimates, especially at the program portfolio level. PG&E expects to complete the design of the Demonstration by mid-2013 and to launch the Demonstration immediately thereafter with a dozen or more commercial customers.
Prateek Chakravarty Bidgely Impact of disaggregated energy consumption information on consumer behavior Bidgely has created a new paradigm in residential energy management with real-time Appliance Tracing™ – a patent-pending technology that is designed to learn and analyze energy data from millions of homes and generate appliance-level insights. Such energy disaggregation analysis performed on the Smart Meter data enables consumers to make informed decisions on targeting the highest inefficiencies. The web and mobile apps based interfaces allow users to interact with the applications in a convenient and rich fashion. Bidgely is currently offering the above-mentioned appliance-level insights, and other related applications such as personalized energy saving tips and a virtual energy audit tool to thousands of users on its platform (where data is automatically uploaded from each home into the Bidgely cloud). The proposed session will present the impact of this itemized energy consumption information on a subset of users. The presented results will include consumer engagement metrics (frequency of consumer visit, length of stay, devices that consumers use to access their energy insights) and energy saving metrics (both whole house and appliance level). Bidgely is also currently engaged in a residential pilot with City of Palo Alto (and Stanford) and is designing another large pilot in Northern California in summer 2013. The pilots run a control and treatment group study across a statistically relevant sample set of customers with both Home Area Network and Green Button data. The proposed session will also discuss the consumer engagement and energy savings impact results from these pilots. As a reference, consumers on the Bidgely platform have access to the following applications: • Appliance Level Use – • Personalized Recommendations – • Virtual Energy Audit –
Giovanni Circella University of California, Davis The analysis of energy consumption for building operations through the integration of data from multiple sources in Los Angeles County Building operations account for an important portion of total energy consumption. This study investigates the consumption of electricity and natural gas for building operations for several categories of residential and non-residential buildings. The proposed approach serves as part of an urban metabolism framework, creating a methodology to account for environmental and energy balances of cities and complex regions. In this study, we analyze electricity and natural gas consumption data from utility companies operating in Los Angeles County. We discuss the importance to access high-quality energy consumption data, and the limited availability of utility data, to date, in this field. Moreover, we describe the difficulties found in the data mining processes required for data aggregation and the solutions that were developed to deal with the integration of data from multiple sources. Utility data are used to build an energy database to study energy consumption in buildings, based on the analysis of almost 450,000 Energy Analysis Zones, created from the overlap of the various levels of spatial aggregation in the database. The energy database integrates additional data on the building stock, climate zones, geomorphological data, and sociodemographics collected from multiple sources. We conduct statistical analysis of utility data and estimate linear regression models to predict energy consumption in buildings. Electricity and natural gas consumption in residential and non-residential buildings are studied in relation to several variables, including building use type, building size, and climate zone. Energy profiles are created for several categories of buildings. Annual energy consumption is estimated for various types of residential units. Electricity and natural gas consumption per square foot of developed floorspace is estimated for various categories of non-residential buildings. Given the limitations in the amount of energy data provided by the utility companies, to date, and the lack of overlapping data for the consumption of both electricity and natural gas in the same zones, we validate the results of the analyses through validity checks carried out using data from independent sources, including the California Energy Commission (CEC) Residential Appliance Saturation Study (RASS) and the Commercial End-Use Survey (CEUS). The results of the study are useful to inform researchers on the consumption patterns for residential and non-residential buildings in Los Angeles County, depending on several land use, sociodemographics and climate variables. Moreover, they also provide the basis to study the spatial distribution of energy consumption and form part of the baseline study to estimate energy and greenhouse gas balances in an urban metabolism framework for the analysis of the environmental impacts of complex urban regions. The results allow us to estimate the total energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with residential and commercial building operations through the application of the estimated energy profiles to the total residential and commercial building inventory in the region. Finally, the baseline assessment of energy consumption for building operations in the region of study is useful for the evaluation of possible energy savings that can be achieved through the development of dedicated policies for new and existing buildings.
Mark Peterson University of Wyoming Reasons Against Adopting Renewable Energy Systems in Consumer Decision-Making Consumer adoption of renewable energies is an important step towards less carbon-intensive and more sustainable energy systems. But despite growing ecological awareness and articulated preferences for green products, renewable energies face slow rates of diffusion in consumer markets. This has been hard to explain given consumers’ favorability to the concept of products that lower one’s impact on the natural environment. This study uses survey data from 254 home owners in Ireland to investigate the psychological process of adopting a renewable energy system – solar energy panels. Applying Behavioral Reasoning Theory (BRT), this research examines a proposed model in which reasons both for and against adoption, as well as attitudes toward solar panels mediate the relationship between consumers’ personal values and adoption intentions. Results suggest the model is generally supported with both reasons for adoption and reasons against adoption having countervailing influences in the psychological processing of adoption intentions. These findings suggest that researchers and marketers should include mediating constructs, such as 1) reasons for adoption, 2) reasons against adoption, and 3) attitudes toward a technology when attempting to explain how consumers think about the adoption of renewable energy systems. Our research contributes to the literature on renewable energy adoption by applying behavioral reasoning theory to explore the frequently observed attitude-behavior gap that has prevented better understanding for how the marketing system for renewable energy provision is profoundly influenced by consumer behavior. The study presents evidence for two mediated paths in the cognitive processing of adoption intentions of solar energy panels: reasons for and reasons against adoption. These findings offer a plausible explanation for the attitude-behavior gap for green technologies. Whereas previous research focused predominantly on attitudes and adoption intentions, the current study offers evidence for the direct influence of context specific reasons on intentions over and above that of attitudes. In particular, researchers can now better understand the countervailing influence of reasons against adoption that would not be evident when focusing only on an attitude-behavior linkage because the effect of reasons against adoption on intention would not be mediated by attitudes toward adoption. Reducing reasons against adoption will be an important way to increase adoption of solar panels and possibly other renewable energy technologies in the future. More importantly, consumers’ reasoning uncovers significant shortcomings in the marketing of renewable energy provision (i.e. costs, uncertainty, incompatibility), some of which are beyond the ability of individual firms to readily change. This way, the study highlights the importance of consumers’ psychology in the functioning of marketing systems of products that are likely to have far reaching societal and environmental implications.
Michaelle Madeley University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Relationships Among Transit Access, Travel Behavior, and Motorization Pressures: New Evidence from Bogota, Colombia The biggest increases in transport-related air pollution and fuel consumption in the next fifty years will occur in rapidly motorizing, developing cities such as Bogotá, Colombia. These cities also hold the best potential for slowing the reducing the global rise in motor vehicle dependence by influencing travel behavior decisions and mobility patterns *before* vehicle purchases are made. However, these gains can only be realized if public transport investments provide a viable and desirable alternative to vehicle ownership and use. Bogotá’s TransMilenio Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system has been widely recognized around the world for its positive impacts on congestion, fossil fuel use, and air pollution. However, recent research suggests that access to the BRT is also associated with an unexpected increase in motor vehicle ownership in the city’s lower wealth neighborhoods. One possible explanation for this result, supported by anecdotal evidence, is that lower wealth households served by the BRT have been capitalizing on their access to the system by building and renting out extra rooms, thus turning their access into additional income – income that could be used to purchase a vehicle. An alternative hypothesis is that the reorganization of Bogotá’s traditional transit services into the BRT reduced transit service levels among the city’s lower wealth households, and increased the pressures faced by those households to become motorized. The present study tests the latter hypothesis by examining changes in travel behavior and mobility among car-less, lower wealth households from before to after TransMilenio’s introduction. I used data from city-wide household mobility surveys conducted before and after TransMilenio’s introduction to examine changes in two household-level travel behavior outcomes: the number of tours (round-trips) completed and the diversity of travel purposes fulfilled in a typical weekday. Based on theoretical frameworks described in the travel behavior literature, I hypothesized that households with access to the BRT system would complete more tours and fulfill a greater variety of travel purposes on their survey day than households without BRT access, controlling for pre-BRT travel patterns. I used maximum likelihood regression models to estimate the number of total tours, non-car tours, and discretionary tours and the diversity of travel purposes fulfilled b household members on the survey day. There were no consistent, statistically significant relationships between BRT access and either tour frequency or travel purpose diversity, even after accounting for the potential influence of the built environment on travel behavior. Thus, it appears that the introduction of BRT services has neither significantly improved nor diminished the ability of car-less, lower wealth households to fulfill their mobility needs. This finding lends support to the notion that rising motorization among Bogotá’s lower wealth, BRT-served households is driven less by changing mobility supplies than by rising incomes brought about by access to the system. This raises important questions about the longer term mobility impacts of TransMilenio, particularly if access to the system is enabling or inducing vehicle purchases.
Karen Cook County of Alameda Food: Too Good to Waste — A Toolkit to Reduce Household Food Waste The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Food: Too Good to Waste” (FTGTW) campaign is an innovative program, collaboratively designed by 25 state and local partners through the EPA’s West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum (the Forum). FTGTW addresses an important but often overlooked waste stream: food waste at the household level. Americans discard over a quarter of all food purchases annually and the total value of food loss at the retail and consumer level is estimated to be $165 billion a year (Buzby and Hyman, 2012). In addition to economic costs, people and the planet are deeply affected by food waste. When considered from a lifecycle systems-based perspective, the provision of food accounts for 14% of total US greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions (EPA, 2009). More than 135 million tons of GHGs are released from food waste in US landfills every year and twenty-five percent of domestic freshwater is used to produce food that gets wasted (Hall et al, 2009). The FTGTW campaign raises awareness and provides households with the strategies and tools to prevent wasted food, thus mitigating the negative environmental, social and economic impacts associated with food waste. The Region 9 and 10 EPA-led Forum is a partnership of local, regional and state governments seeking to integrate lifecycle materials management thinking into solid waste management and climate action policies and programs. Forum member agencies, including King County, City of San Francisco, and the State of Oregon, have conducted consumption-based GHG emission inventories to identify the lifecycle GHG impact of materials consumed in their communities. These lifecycle studies consistently highlight the impact of food consumption on GHG emissions, which supports the efforts of the FTGTW campaign. The objective of the FTGTW campaign is to shift the issue of food waste from landfill diversion to upstream consumer waste prevention by providing decision-making strategies and behavior change tools that engage consumers in preventing household food waste. These strategies, and the tools used to implement them, focus on removing barriers and enhancing the benefits for participants to reduce wasted food at the household level. In this presentation, the Forum will share the community-based social marketing (CBSM) tools developed to support the consumer food waste prevention strategies employed by the FTGTW campaign: Ø Make a list with meals in mind Ø Prep now. Eat later Ø Keep fruits and vegetables fresh Ø Eat what you buy In addition, the Forum will: • Detail the successes and barriers of pilot implementation within communities in California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii • Highlight the documented impacts, lessons learned and next steps for community pilot development and evaluation • Share plans to scale the FTGTW campaign to a national audience Ultimately, we hope this presentation will inspire attendees to implement the campaign in their own communities and participate in this growing movement to reduce food waste and its associated impacts.
Kady Cowan University Health Network Turn Off the Lights or 1000 Little Steps This presentation will show how limited resources, a big idea and determination can result in culture change in a large complex organization. University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, Canada has been providing patient and planet centered care, research and education for over 200 years. UHN joins 4 acute care and rehabilitation hospitals, employs 14,000 staff, 700 physicians and cares for over 1 million patients every year. With 1190 beds we are able to care for 28,000 inpatients and receive 873,000 ambulatory visits every year. In 2007 our formal energy conservation and efficiency program called Turn off Lights and Computers (TLC) – Care to Conserve set an aggressive energy conservation goal; to save $1 million of the $20 million we spent on utilities organization wide at that time. To date annual savings from maintenance is $484,000 and retrofits are $1.2 million across the organization. In addition, departments with a TLC champion are saving 30% to 100% of excess electricity from no cost behaviour change. In fiscal year 2013/2014 senior management committed to achieving $550,000 in savings from behaviour change alone. After 1000 little steps we have elevated the importance of this program by demonstrating that commitment, goals, feedback, and celebration lead to change. This presentation will focus on the bright spots and the methodology we used to arrive at our current model which is simple, fun, scalable and replicable. Bright Spots: In 2011, staff in the UHN research labs launched the Shut the Sash campaign to get colleagues to close fume hoods when not in use. In the first 4 months of the campaign compliance went from 47% to 97%. Overall energy costs are down 10%. In 2012 the 3 original acute care hospitals of UHN amalgamated with a rehabilitation and long-term care hospital. One of the early successes of integration was the transition of our energy conservation program to the rehab sites. Methodology: During a multi-year pilot we worked with clinical, operational and administrative departments with a variety of staff leading TLC initiatives. We have experimented with a selection of audit protocols from thorough inventories of lighting and equipment to subjective snapshots of “what’s on?” vs. “what’s off?”. We have hosted face-to-face meetings, provided email reminders, stickers, posters and banners; documented commitments in the form of handwritten, online and photo pledges and celebrated with recognition cards, blog posts and some prizes. In the first six years of TLC we have worked with 30% of our staff and hope to double that in the next 2 years. We have capitalized on social cohesion within departments to propagate new social norms moving UHN toward a culture of lights off when not in use. By remaining in a supporting role our small department is able to permeate all corners and effect change from the periphery. Letting champions take the lead, find solutions that fit and feel pride in their accomplishments. This model, combined with recent messages from senior leadership about TLC being echoed throughout the organization, we have an energy conservation paradigm shift at UHN taking shape.
Patrick Crittenden University of Technology, Sydney Change Leadership for Energy Efficiency – Reconsidering the Role of Policy Makers and Practitioners Much energy efficiency research has focused on developing an ever-expanding list of reasons why investment in seemingly profitable energy efficiency projects doesn’t happen. Other research considers the successful practices that firms can apply to accelerate energy efficiency improvement while assuming that the same strategies will work in all organisations. What is missing is a comprehensive account of the dynamic process by which energy management practices change within firms and across industry. This approach can provide important insights into the role of policy makers and practitioners in driving energy efficiency improvement. The research described in this paper examines three important questions and fills a critical gap in the energy efficiency literature. The questions are: How and why do energy management practices change over time in business organisations? What does this tell us about how successful energy management practices can be shared and developed? What does it mean in practice for policy makers and practitioners to adopt a change leadership role? The three-year research project described in this paper draws on data from three sources: public presentations made by fifty energy efficiency practitioners at annual workshops hosted by the Australian government in 2011 and 2012; industry case studies, research and capacity building material published between 2006 and 2012 in Australia; and fifteen in-depth interviews undertaken in 2013 with successful energy efficiency practitioners in Australia. A case study is developed to describe and analyse how and why energy management practices in Australia have changed between 2006 and 2012. The theoretical framework for the study is based on contemporary perspectives in institutional entrepreneurship theory. A multi-level empirical model is developed to enable the examination the drivers for and challenges associated with new energy management practices at industry, firm and individual project level. This approach highlights the interactions between people, management systems and technology in the pursuit of energy efficiency improvement. The research findings highlight the change leadership strategies that effective energy management practitioners have used to drive energy efficiency improvement and the barriers that these strategies have helped to overcome. The findings also demonstrate how a shift in three widely-held beliefs, or ‘institutional logics’, helped to challenge widely-held assumptions about institutionalized energy management practices. The first shift identified was a transition from viewing energy efficiency as a cost reduction initiative towards acknowledging the wider business benefits that a focus on energy efficiency can deliver. The second shift reflects an acknowledgement of the need to work across professional and functional boundaries within firms rather than relying on the actions and capability of technical staff and external consultants. The third shift reflects an approach that is more characterized as continuous improvement with a focus on day-to-day operational practices rather than a focus on episodic energy audit processes. Recommendations from the research include suggested improvements to diagnostic analysis of organisational readiness, appropriate matching of change leadership strategies to organisational culture and the practical change leadership actions that both policy makers and practitioners can take to drive energy efficiency improvement in firms.
Alexander Davis Carnegie Mellon University Lay Theories for Prediction and Program Design Understanding why customers accept or refuse an energy efficiency program is a central challenge for both maximizing the effectiveness of the program and establishing its validity. In the former case, any program that is offered to the general public can be made more effective by involving customers who are likely to benefit but unlikely to enroll. In the latter, any study that tests an energy efficiency program using an all-volunteer sample risks volunteer bias, where customers who enroll in the study may benefit much more than the general population. We address the problem of enrollment using a three step approach. First, we interview and survey customers for their intuitions about two related problems: 1) their self-perceptions about why they would accept or refuse an energy efficiency program, and 2) their theories about why other people would or would not enroll. Psychological research suggests that laypeople naturally develop causal theories about their social, physical, and biological world, and that these theories are associated with behavior. We test whether these theories can be used for predicting their own enrollment decisions and the decisions of others. Second, using the causal factors identified by customers, as well as other factors identified from prior research on volunteering, we use machine learning methods to predict enrollment intentions and decisions. Using classification trees we select the most predictive model of enrollment from a given set of causal factors. Using random forests we assign weights to customers based on their probability of volunteering, allowing adjustment for volunteer bias. Lastly, we show how to invert the process by using the factors most predictive of enrollment to suggest ways to design and implement an energy efficiency program to encourage likely non-volunteers.
Mary Beth Deline Cornell University Addressing Group Influence in Organizational Energy Research This research describes gaps in energy research regarding collective levels of analysis, such as groups, and provides a taxonomy and catalogue of measurement tools that can be used to start addressing these deficiencies. While energy research has examined behaviors and decision making in residential settings, it has largely failed to examine the social dimensions of energy consumption and demand within organizations – even though the IPCC states that this sector potentially has the highest ability to reduce GHG emissions. In addition, what research there is focuses on individual rather than collective units of analysis. Yet behavior and behavior change is subject not only to individual perceptions and decision making, but also social influence. Addressing this means using measures that capture collective level constructs. We undertook a literature review of over 900 articles focused on energy use in commercial environments – less than ten contained tools that captured collective constructs. In order to capture the full range of social energy behavior and decision-making we need to expand our energy research repertoire, both theoretically and empirically. We decided to focus on groups as a unit of analysis for this research because groups comprise a large, long and diversified field of study ranging from social psychology to organizational behavior. In addition, workplaces are often comprised of workgroups. Poole, Keyton & Frey (1999) have identified four levels of group-level analysis: individuals in groups writ large, individuals in specific groups, groups themselves, and between-group findings. The first level of analysis captures people’s perceptions when they act in cooperative contexts and covers all of the measurement tools that we found in our literature review. The second is useful for examining how individual interactions contribute to group outcomes. Turning to the third level of analysis, that of the group as a unit, allows us to examine group behaviors. Finally, we can examine between-group behaviors by examining the interactions that happen between groups. Using these levels of analysis as categories, we performed another literature review; this one focused on collectively oriented measurement tools. We searched measurement appendices in sociology, psychology, communications and marketing. We also consulted three key journals in the fields of sociology, communication and organizational behavior. We present these tools within the above-noted categorization structure, highlighting those useful for organizational energy initiatives based on whether they address group identification, process or outcome measures. For example, a group process scale of note is the ‘Openness to Change’ scale, while an outcome scale of interest is the ‘Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale of Organizational Learning’. We also discuss associated concepts and measurement difficulties when considering collective level analysis, including consensus, interdependence and collective identity. Our presentation will provide researchers with the tools they need, as well as theoretical considerations, when addressing collective social influence on energy use in organizational settings.
Magali Delmas UCLA Information Strategies and Energy Conservation Behavior: A Meta-Analysis of Experimental Studies from 1975-2011 Strategies that provide information about the environmental impact of activities are increasingly seen as effective to encourage conservation behavior. This article offers the most comprehensive meta-analysis of information based energy conservation experiments conducted to date. Based on evidence from 156 published field trials and 525,479 study subjects from 1975-2012, we quantify the reduction potential of information based strategies for energy conservation. On average, individuals in the experiments reduced their electricity consumption by 7.4%. Our results also show that strategies providing individualized audits and consulting are comparatively more effective for conservation behavior than strategies that provide historical, peer comparison energy feedback. Interestingly, we find that pecuniary feedback and incentives lead to a relative increase in energy usage rather than induce conservation. We also find that the effect varies with the rigor of the study, indicating potential methodological issues in the current literature.
Linda Dethman Cadmus Expand Your Thinking: A Design Strategy for a New Mix of Behavioral Programs If we know anything about behavior, it’s that it’s easy to get stuck in it. So it’s not surprising we all could benefit from some new tools for ‘out of the box’ thinking about programs targeted to changing energy and climate related behaviors. We developed a new design approach as the fourth component of a recent white paper prepared for the California IOUs titled “Paving the Way for a Richer Mix of Residential Behavior Programs.” The paper synthesizes and builds on previous work by the authors and other social science researchers to: 1. Characterize, from a householder’s point of view, the types of energy-related behaviors subject to influence by behavioral programs. 2. Summarize the broad array of social science behavior change theory, drawing from psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, legal theory, and elsewhere. 3. Categorize a set of promising intervention strategies that might be used to influence energy-related behaviors, tied back to theories of behavior change. 4. Illustrate how energy-related behaviors, the theories that explain them, and the intervention strategies can be combined to create new, refreshed, and more effective behavior change programs. In this presentation, we will first explain the three ingredients in the approach*, emphasizing that a new or better program idea can start with any of the ingredients. For instance, we might have an idea for a set of interrelated behaviors we want to change related to household maintenance. Or, we might want to explore how cybernetics or feedback theory could drive behavior change. Or, we might begin with a promising intervention strategy, such as instilling a sense of reciprocity or loss aversion. We will then walk the audience through a brief, in their seat, exercise that will involve them in trying out the approach. Finally, we will present two examples of program ideas developed using the approach — one that is a twist on an existing program design and one that imagines quite a new type of behavior change program. In presenting the new program ideas, we will walk the audience through the process, showing how we used each of the three ingredients in the approach. Time permitting, we will take program ideas from the audience to further illustrate how to apply the approach and to turn ideas into sturdy program designs. *Please note: To allow deeper audience involvement with the ideas in this white paper, we propose a full session panel that combines this presentation with two others: “Moving Beyond Norms: Taking a Deep Dive into the Wide Range Behavioral Theories for Smarter Design” (Anne Dougherty) and “Translating Theories into Interventions.” (Jane Peters)
Kat Donnelly MIT PhD Candidate and EMpower Devices Using home energy scoring to motivate energy upgrade actions Using home energy scoring to motivate energy upgrade actions By Kat A. Donnelly and Kristen Bremer The DOE Home Energy Score (HEScore) aims to increase consumer understanding of their home’s energy performance (i.e., assets only, not behavior) (DOE, 2013a). Our presentation and/or paper will describe a behavioral economics experiment designed to compare reactions to: • varying lengths of home energy performance information and recommendations (i.e., delivered via one of three DOE HEScore report versions), given the • homeowner’s housing situation (i.e., staying in the house vs. in the market to buy or sell). The experiment was designed to compare homeowners’ willingness to pay (WTP) based on the above experimental conditions and to test: 1. How is stated willingness to pay (WTP) for energy upgrades influenced by the following factors? • Report length, • Housing situation, • Tax Credits, • Making the score public, and • Various demographic characteristics, such as o Propensity for do-it-yourself (DIY) upgrades, o Political affiliation, and o Other socio-economic conditions. 2. How do actual upgrade actions (i.e., revealed preferences) impact stated WTP? 3. What do program designers learn about market segmentation, as well as how to package incentives and upgrades from the survey demographic data? 4. How can policymakers learn about rolling out the HEScore to a wider population? We will present and compare analyses from two survey populations, including a general U.S. panel, and an early adopter population drawn from the Connecticut Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge participants, including: high level results, recommendations, and future research. For instance, some of the main findings are that: • Tax credits and public scores can increase WTP. • Different actions correlate with different market segmentation patterns. • Residents in the market to purchase a home state higher WTP. • Subjects state higher WTP for an automobile than a package of home upgrades. Finally, we will present 10 policy recommendations based on both the DOE HEScore and supplemental N2N customer survey data to: • Advise DOE and other stakeholders on the roll out of the HEScore, • Raise awareness and motivation of energy upgrades, and • Promote packages of upgrade actions across different market segments. For instance, we recommend that the DOE should use, but not over rely on home energy scoring. It could be particularly powerful if the score is public, and especially for those homes on the market. In addition, the HEScore misses and should consider three actions with high potential customer participation, including those that would: • make repairs themselves, • complete conservation actions, and/or • purchase more efficient automobiles. Ultimately, the DOE HEScore needs modified to conform with behavior science best practices, and be one part of a comprehensive approach to drive demand and completion of whole home energy performance in the residential sector. Note: This experiment was conducted under Professor Dan Ariely, Duke University. Kat A. Donnelly, Massachusetts Institute of Technology PhD Candidate and Kristen Bremer, Duke University Master of Environmental Management student both wrote thesis chapters based on this research. The authors coordinated with DOE and DOE stakeholders for guidance.
Melissa Donnelly Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency Driving Behavior Change: Sustainability Engagement in Commercial Buildings We will present qualitative research garnered through the pilot program of our Sustainability Engagement Navigator – a unique tool that gathers input from a diverse cross section of employees at a particular organization or location. The tool first establishes the sustainability culture of the organization, based on employee feedback. Our sustainability cultures research identifies four basic workplace cultures in terms of attitudes toward sustainability, its costs, and who should bear them. By understanding these cultures, managers can build on employees’ interests, values and expertise to create policies that are relevant, connected and meaningful to people’s roles. The tool also assesses and prioritizes employee attitudes around specific sustainability engagement practices. It evaluates the overall perceived importance of and the likelihood that the employee will participate in identified sustainability practices. With this information, organizations can create a roadmap to implement the most effective practices to engage employees and change behavior. The unique—and much needed—research collected will help to define patterns of sustainable behavior and how they correlate with overall sustainability cultures, and thus help to further shape these best practices within workplaces. Results from this pilot program will contribute to a research paper to be published in September 2013 by the Institute for Building Efficiency on sustainability employee engagement. The paper will consolidate existing research, highlight best practices, suggest a framework for much needed evaluation criteria on sustainability employee engagement programs, and offer insight into available tools for the commercial sector. This report will be produced in coordination with key industry, NGO, and academic partners. List of relevant publication references: Myerson, J. and Puybaraud, M. (2012) “Sustainable Cultures: Creating Greener Workplaces for All.” The Institute for Building Efficiency
Mikhail Haramati Opinion Dynamics Big Data and its Big Potential: Exploring Opportunity at the Intersection of the Smart Grid and Human Behavior You can’t escape it. Conversations on the use of big data are everywhere – from predicting hacker attacks on the electric grid to mapping the human genome. We are just scratching the surface on the potential to leverage big data for tapping into consumer behavior. Chief among the data sources is the growing availability of smart grid and interval data, capable of providing more detailed profiles of residential energy use and household practices. In this talk, we will examine and demonstrate how big data can be used to identify the energy savings potential of unique households based on their individual usage profiles. We will go on to detail how overlaying this energy usage profile with past behavioral patterns, such as program engagement or transactions, offers program implementers the ability to gain granular insight into customers’ likelihood to act. In this way, big data not only offers insight into who we need to target to meet our sustainability and energy goals but also who among them are most likely to act. The presentation will begin by providing an overview of barriers to harnessing big data (such as the “data Tsunami” as one utility put it) and then move into a discussion of the smart grid players most poised to overcome these barriers. We will then detail projects that have leveraged this data for customer engagement and targeting and demonstrate how such efforts give us glimpses into a very different energy future.
Amanda Dwelley Opinion Dynamics I always/sometimes/never turn that off: Identifying and mitigating common self-reporting errors in energy surveys Program designers, implementers and evaluators often rely on self-reported information to understand what is going on in customer homes and businesses – including conservation behaviors – and to analyze program effectiveness. We frequently hypothesize that survey respondents are unlikely to answer certain questions accurately, especially those where a socially desirable response is clear (e.g., daily behaviors), or where technical details are beyond the grasp of the average customer (e.g., SEER). The opportunity for biased responses in less technical self-report questions presents an insidious problem that is not always easy to predict – or correct. Understanding the potential variation or biases in responses to the types of questions that many energy surveys contain is critical for designing data collection efforts that accurately measure the concepts we are interested in. This is particularly relevant as we try to estimate savings from conservation actions and behaviors. This paper will provide an in-depth look at differences between self-reported data and verified data (i.e., verified by on-site data collection or metering) to assess the extent and direction of discrepancies. We will draw on numerous large-scale baseline studies – both residential and commercial – that used a “nested” sample design, allowing for a comparison of self-reported data with on-site verification or equipment metering (logging) conducted by trained professionals. We will classify results from a range of question “types”, from operational and behavioral questions (hours of operation, set points) to equipment-specific and technical questions (age, type, size). We will discuss whether discrepancies in responses to certain types of questions are likely to be random, or if responses are biased toward a “good” answer, resulting in a systematic under- or over-reporting of certain conditions or behaviors. These findings will be grounded in the broad body of social psychology and behavioral economics research that describes how people report on past events, physical characteristics, and their daily behavior. Finally, we will present “rules of thumb” regarding the types of questions that are suitable for self-report and those that might present reliability issues for researchers. The paper will close with suggestions for mitigating these discrepancies, including the use of limited on-site data collection to verify and, if needed, correct participant responses. This paper will give survey designers and energy researchers a framework for assessing whether certain types of questions are likely to yield accurate responses, either on an individual basis or in aggregate.
Jennifer Edwards Center for Energy and Environment Minnesota’s Energy Index: Where all the Homes are Above Average Home energy scores are a useful technique to assess and communicate a home’s efficiency status, and in recent years there has been a proliferation of new designs that expand this opportunity. However, these scores have not fully evolved from being engineering assessment tools to behavior-based tools. Many current approaches overlook a key reason that scores can motivate action: people aspire to score well. Scoring systems that produce low ratings, especially for larger or older homes, can slide a homeowner back to inaction, since their “historic charmer” appears hopelessly leaky. In addition, a home might score poorly because of features they can’t easily change, like roof color, tree shading, or the total number of windows. There is a better approach, but it requires attention to the specific emotions best leveraged by a scoring system: ambition, self-esteem, and loss aversion. This presentation will demonstrate how one Minnesota residential efficiency program designed and successfully rolled out an energy retrofit score that is cost-effective, quantitatively rigorous, easy to understand—and also motivates homeowners to do work. The Home Energy Improvement Index was designed from inception based on behavioral theory, in particular, how to capture people’s desire to get a perfect score. The quantitative scoring system was developed to support this underlying behavioral motivation, and also gives a simple choice architecture to direct retrofit options. The Index scores a home based on how close it is to its full potential, not how it compares to other homes. A home’s “full potential” is based on what is cost effective in that home, and will vary based on age and structural design. This approach allows homeowners to get a perfect score if they complete all cost-effective upgrades. We presented the Home Energy Index design concept at BECC2011, and now have results from two years of development and field work. Over 1,000 scores have been delivered as of April 2013, through a Twin Cities residential whole-home efficiency program. We will present results from this program rollout, as well as reactions to the Index from homeowner focus groups. This presentation will also describe a new Home Energy Certificate, built on top of the scoring platform, which can provide an energy efficiency designation if and when a home is listed for sale. This time-of-sale application holds a large opportunity to direct favorable purchasing behavior since it does not disadvantage older homes, often located in the urban core.
Alejandra Efron BrAle Consulting Selection and Use of Energy Efficient Opportunities vs. Customer Purchasing Behaviour: a case study on Argentinean Supply Chains using Dynamic Alignment models. The selection and use of appropriate energy efficient technologies, systems or devices present a challenge for organisations across diverse supply chains. The list of activities currently being trialed and promoted is extensive, with new opportunities constantly appearing. However, their reliability and performance range from the well understood and demonstrated, to the utterly unproven. In Argentina there are many multinational organizations operating, and in the past five to eight years local companies have been bought or merged by global groups. These global organisations usually report their sustainable activities via programs such as Global Reporting Initiative and the Carbon Disclosure Project. When it comes to the operational arena, however, there can be significant gaps between stated organisational goals and practice. Therefore supply chain managers often face contradictory demands in regards to transport and warehousing. Identifying which resource efficient technologies, systems or devices will provide requisite customer service without compromising operational and financial viability is an ever evolving question. This investigation aims to examine a novel way of evaluating qualitatively the potential impact that energy efficiency measures, in terms of policies or activities, could have on an organization’s market. The study utilizes the innovative Dynamic Alignment methodology, developed by Drs. Gattorna and Chorn, which is based on the premise that people are the ones who drive supply chains, in the form of customers, suppliers or employees, while technologies, infrastructure and assets are just elements that inhibit or allow these people to operate. The dynamic alignment framework links marketplace and strategy with internal cultural capability and leadership styles, all of which are measured through a behavioral coding system, and later aggregated into dominant behaviors. The roots of this coding system are firmly embedded in Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types. In this study the Dynamic Alignment framework is applied to the transport and logistics elements of nine major companies in Argentina in the food processing, logistics, cement, forestry and vehicle manufacturing sectors. The concept of “customers’ purchasing behaviors” is used as the starting point for developing a comprehensive and operationally feasible list of road transport energy efficiency opportunities that companies’ supply chain managers could embark upon. Some of these opportunities, e.g. aerodynamics, are long proven to reduce fuel consumption, and therefore its use should be attractive to almost all buying behaviors The supply chain manager’s perception of these devices’ potentials, however, could differ from academic or industry proof and not be used or even offered to the customer. Other opportunities, such as hybrid vehicles, may require more “innovative, developer” purchasing behaviors, and be negotiated both intracompany and externally -with the customer itself, government or other association. . Dynamic Alignment has been demonstrated to improve the financial and productivity performance of supply chains. The successful incorporation of energy and climate into its frameworks would present supply chain managers with a comprehensive model to incorporate efficiency measures in sympathy with their clients’ purchasing behaviors and operational needs. Results from the initial pilot with nine medium and large companies in Argentina show promising results.
Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez Garrison Institute Behavior Wedge Profiles for Cities: A Strategic Approach for Reducing Energy Consumption A growing body of research has provided clear evidence of the large scale, energy and carbon reductions that could be achieved by shifting household practices and technology choices. Estimates of achievable savings have ranged from 20 to 30 percent in the short- to medium-term in the residential and personal transportation sectors alone. Nationally, the savings from such interventions would reduce total U.S. energy consumption by roughly 9% and cut carbon emissions by 7.4% (Dietz et al 2009, Laitner et al 2009). While such findings are useful, they are unable to identify city-specific opportunities that take unique, local factors into account, such as local climatic conditions, the characteristics of the local building stock, technology saturation, technology use patterns, and the lifestyles, attitudes and preferences of local populations. Over the course of the past year, the Garrison Institute has been working with the Urban Sustainability Director’s Network (USDN) to develop a low-cost approach for using similar estimation techniques to determine the scale of city-specific savings opportunities and to document the sets of behaviors that are likely to result in the most savings in particular cities given the unique characteristics of the local built environment, lifestyles and behaviors. This presentation will 1) outline the core components of the behavior wedge profile assessment methodology, 2) present estimates for five specific U.S. cities, and 3) discuss how cities are using this information to more strategically target their programs and policies in ways that maximize behavior-related energy and carbon savings.
Alan Elliot Opinion Dynamics Anthropological Theory and Practice: Why We Need it to Understand Behavior Dominant conceptions of human behavior are currently focused on the predicable processes suggested by rational decision-making theories. Very little attention is given to an exploration of more subtle, but no less meaningful, drivers of human behavior. Understandings of human behavior are thus sorely lacking the flexibility to account for the dynamism, variation, and, often, unpredictability of human nature. The explorations of language, symbols, technology and subjective meaning offered by the field of socio-cultural anthropology can bring to light the nuances of how individuals are shaped by the world around them, and how resulting self-conceptions and worldviews translate into intentions and actions. In this presentation, the author will detail multiple ways anthropological theory challenges us to think differently about the drivers and barriers to human behavior. Theories of social meaning-making elucidate how the same actions and behaviors can take on myriad versions of symbolic importance. Studies of human-technical interactions illuminate the ways in which humans create, use and adapt tools and technology to their unique socio-cultural or political settings. Linguistics provides explanations of how the same information is interpreted differently based on the geographical or social context of the listener, generating equally distinct results. In this sense, we can begin to understand human behavior not as a simple output of rational decision-making, but also as the outcome of powerful forces shaping that rationality. In this presentation, the author will first detail influential theories in anthropology. The author will then use real-world examples of how these theories influence human behavior and have been examined in the energy context in California and Massachusetts. By bringing to light the contributions of socio-cultural anthropology, this presentation will help both theorists and applied practitioners to envision new models of engagement that move away from rational decision-making and to embrace deeply rooted and highly influential levers that mold and shape human behavior.
Natsuko Enomoto Tokyo Gas Company A Sstudy on Energy Efficient Behaviour Interventions on a Smart Apartment Residents A series of studies are conducted regarding the effect of Energy Efficiency interventions on residents living in a specially designed energy efficiency apartment. The E-Sogo Smart Apartment was built by Tokyo Gas to demonstrate a feasible multi-dwelling type Zero Net Energy house in spring 2012. The Apartment has 24 housing units within the four-story building that are occupied by Tokyo Gas employee families. The E-Sogo apartment was designed to have a highest level of thermal envelope, a use of natural wind and all available on-site energy systems, such as 25kW roof-top PV, 10kW Fuel Cell Combined Heat and Power, Solar Heaters for hot water supply and a storage battery. The first phase of the experiments was to verify the level of the actual use of energy at an apartment level with a comparison of a model load used in the latest Housing Code in Japan. During the actual load verification, a continuous monitoring of energy usage and periodical interviews have been made in order to measure the energy efficiency consciousness by questionnaire surveys and interviews, which will be compared in the following phases of experiments on energy efficiency behaviours interventions effect, such as energy feedback and load reduction/peak management incentive programs. The original goal was to make cost/benefit analyses and recommendations on energy efficiency measures on a multi-dwelling apartment type housing in the presence of wide range of actual energy usage by residents. These goals were expanded after the 2011 Fukushima earthquake to include peak demand control and energy independent operations under emergency conditions, leading towards less grid dependency. This is the first report to present the findings from the first phase of the experiments, including the range of the actual energy usage variations by residents, difference from the model load and a quick loss of interest on energy efficiency by residents. The report will highlight the findings of 1) the residents’ appreciation to a high level of thermal envelop and the on-site energy systems was quickly lost, 2) the actual energy usage of residents considerably vary from unit to unit despite the uniform thermal envelop and the energy system installation and 3) a different residents thermal climate preference may have developed by prior thermal climate conditions. The second phase of the experiment is also under way on energy efficiency behaviours interventions effects since April 2013. The report also introduce the third phase of the experiment plan, expanding the study to a community level, including the numbers of apartments as well as non-residential buildings, such as a community hall, a community sport gym, a local school and a hospital. Tokyo Gas is developing this E-Sogo Smart Community Plan with City of Yokohama, an apartment developer and a University
Rebecca Brown BKi Beyond Buildings: How to Incorporate Behavior Modification into Whole-House Energy Upgrade Programs Driven by the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, California has set an ambitious goal of 40% energy reduction in the residential sector by 2020. Although meeting this target requires comprehensive improvement to all energy end-uses, Energy Upgrade California and associated programs have largely focused on measures that reduce the heating and cooling load of the home. These programs neglect the crucial role of occupant behavior in influencing home energy use, among seasonal and plug loads. This study compares the energy savings achieved in Energy Upgrade California versus a program that used an online bill analysis tool with reminders, tips, and other behavior feedback efforts. Results indicate that combining asset upgrades with behavior modification tools contribute to deeper energy savings in whole-house programs. Local engagement, customized solutions, and ongoing participant contact leveraging SmartMeter utility data are needed to maximize savings from behavior feedback mechanisms. Given these results, the following energy efficiency program strategies are recommended: 1. Expand definition of “whole-house upgrade” to include plug load and end-uses other than space heating/cooling and water heating • Addressing the effects of behavior in whole-house programs requires that “whole-house” include lighting, appliances, pools/spas, and plug loads • 87% of electricity use and 46% of total BTU use among California’s single-family homes is from end-uses other than space heating/cooling and water heating 2. Develop methodology to accurately quantify the magnitude and duration of savings from behavioral programs, and incorporate those findings into cost-effectiveness tests. • Utility energy efficiency portfolios are required to be cost-effective. Including behavioral measures and incentives requires that stakeholders accurately estimate both costs and lifetime energy savings associated with these measures 3. Sell multiple “levels” of upgrades under a single program umbrella, with no/low-cost behavioral changes as the first and ongoing step to achieving deep savings • Currently, utility providers’ consumer behavioral education programs, single-measure incentives, whole-house programs, and renewable energy rebates are branded and marketed separately. Enveloping all levels of efficiency choices under the single branding umbrella facilitates greater consumer understanding of all choices, and emphasizes importance of behavior in capitalizing on savings from asset upgrades 4. Integrate operational ratings (actual utility bill use) into home energy ratings • Because energy use is dependent on both the physical characteristics of the home and the occupants’ behavior, utility bills naturally go beyond asset ratings to provide actual operational results. Operational ratings would streamline costly in-home assessments and would be more concrete to homeowners. Raters and contractors would still be needed to analyze these data and recommend specific upgrade measures • Leverage existing applications to analyze utility bills and compare to similar homes. These apps can connect to social media such as Facebook, instilling a sense of shared challenge among a friend network 5. Incentivize realized energy savings in addition to asset improvements • Giving customers a more direct incentive to engage in efficient behaviors helps maximize realized savings. Incenting behavior is an educational opportunity for customers who will be motivated to learn how to increase their rebates and maintain energy savings
June Flora Stanford University Nature and Extent of Barriers to Individual and Clusters of Energy Reduction Behaviors Changes in household energy behavior are key to both energy-saving and climate-change mitigation strategies. Yet, to date large scale energy behavior changes have not been systematically achieved. Missing are meaningful ways of presenting behaviors, such as behavior sets or lifestyles, as well as understanding barriers to individual behaviors and groups of behaviors . In previous work we have proposed a Behavior Change Attribute Model (BCAM) to guide the study of behavior characteristics. The model examines behavior as a function of its attributes, independent of the actor. Using the model we generated “clusters” of behaviors based on their attributes yielding five clusters from 261 behaviors : (a) Call an Expert (e.g., installing insulation), 28%; (b) Family Style behaviors (e.g., taking shorter showers), 25%; (c) Household Management (e.g., changing filters, cold water wash), 19%; (d) Go Shopping (e.g., installing low flow shower heads), 18%; and (e) Behind the Scenes Work (e.g., caulking windows, changing hot water heater thermostats), 10%. Understanding of the barriers to change is touted to be essential to residential energy reduction. Barriers can be ideologies and values, such as not believing in climate change; social comparison, conduct of behavior is perceived as non-normative; perceived difficulties in conducting behavior, such as behaviors that are too difficult or too costly; perceptions of response efficacy of a behavior, such as not believing behavior will reduce energy; and perceived relative benefit such as the discomfort caused by the behavior is not offset by the benefit. We examine these barriers to more than 20 energy reduction behaviors in three studies with a total of more than 400 participants (22% female, average of two years of college courses, average age 23.7) . In study one, we draw behavior samples from the last four clusters (for a total of 23 behaviors) and examine young adults level of behavior performance, behavioral intention, long term behavioral confidence and barriers for each behavior. We also examine the role of participant demographics such as gender and marital status in barrier selection. For example, women report higher behavioral performance but men report greater intentions to change. In study two, we compare the extent to which nature and extent of barriers for clusters of behaviors (as described earlier) are similar or different. In the third study, we examine the relationship between number and type of barriers and participants change in behavior intention after viewing a video about an energy reduction application. Overall, we find that barriers play a role in behavior intention as well as in change in behavior intention. For our young participants a costly behavior (even a low cost behavior) makes it prohibitive in terms of intention to change.
Seth Frader-Thompson EnergyHub How people actually use (smart) thermostats EnergyHub will review a detailed breakdown of customer usage patterns from a random selection of 50,000 smart thermostat users from across the U.S. segmented by geography, season, and time of day, among other factors, in order to identify key opportunities to provide customers with information and feedback that drive behavior change toward energy efficiency. EnergyHub’s Wi-Fi thermostat customers use our web and mobile apps over eight times per week on average. It is one thing to know that the most common thermostat adjustments are an increase or decrease of 1-2 degrees; it is another thing entirely to understand how that behavior can be a touchpoint for energy cost information that encourages efficient changes and discourages changes that will use more energy. We will explain our process for going from data to insight and share some of our findings with you. With mobile sessions making up over 90% of user activity, we will also focus on efficiency features enabled by smartphones. We will compare the real-world performance of customer-entered occupancy schedules against automatic temperature set-backs and set-ups triggered by the location of a customer’s smartphone, and we will identify the types and characteristics of customers who can benefit from automatic setpoint management versus just programming a standard schedule. The industry has gone beyond the theoretical of how people should use smart thermostats to the reality of how they actually do, in the form of billions of data points per month on thermostat settings, HVAC activity, and user interactions that are collected by smart thermostat software platforms. We are well on our way to unlocking some of the energy saving opportunities this data presents, and EnergyHub looks forward to discussing our progress with you.
Stephen George Freeman, Sullivan & Co. Interim Results from SMUD’s Time Variant Pricing Experiment Interim Results from SMUD’s Time Variant Pricing Experiment In summer 2012, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) launched one of the largest and best designed pricing experiments ever conducted in the electricity industry. The experiment has been designed to assess the impact of three different pricing options: time-of-use (TOU), critical peak pricing (CPP) and a combination TOU/CPP tariff. The TOU and CPP tariffs were offered to customers on both an opt-in and default basis. The TOU/CPP tariff was offered on a default basis only. The opt-in rates were evaluated using a randomized control trial (RCT) based on a “recruit and delay” design. The default treatments were evaluated using a randomized encouragement design (RED), within-subjects analysis or both. This pilot is the first to allow for a comparison of enrollment rates and average impacts for the same tariff based on both opt-in and default enrollment. The experiment also offered in-home displays (IHDs) to a subset of treatment customers to determine whether IHDs impact enrollment. IHDs were pre-commissioned so that customers only needed to turn them on once they were shipped in order to have the devices connect with the customer’s smart meter. This presentation will report the impact of offering an IHD on acceptance of time-varying rates and will also summarize customer acceptance and commissioning rates for IHDs. Finally, the experimental design allows for a rigorous comparison of load impacts for the CPP rate developed using a within-subjects analysis (e.g., individual customer regressions and/or panel regressions) and using a RED framework. This is important because RED designs are typically more expensive to implement than a within-subjects design (due to much larger required sample sizes). If the impact estimates are very similar using the two approaches, this would validate the continued use of the common within-subjects design for selected rate options such as CPP.
Kenneth Gillingham Yale University Leveraging Peer Effects: The Effect of Community-based Programs on the Adoption of Solar Panels This study quantifies how large-scale behavioral interventions that combine group buys and community-led outreach can increase the installation rate of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Specifically, we estimate the causal effect of the “Solarize” program in CT and MA in driving solar adoption, showing the effectiveness of a novel set of behavioral interventions in promoting a prominent green technology. The Solarize model aims to increase solar PV adoption via an intensive, twenty-week campaign. A single, competitively-selected solar installer is chosen by each municipality participating in the program, and community volunteers conduct solar education activities and recruit homeowners to sign contracts with the solar installer. The installer in turn offers a negotiated group buy: the more solar homeowners contract, the lower the price per watt for all participants (MassCEC 2012). The Solarize program was initiated in MA in 2011 and in CT in 2012. Each program began with four pilot municipalities, and the first year of results showed the Solarize model to be astoundingly successful. Over the twenty weeks of the campaigns, the solar capacity (in kW) contracted for in each of the CT municipalities exceeded the capacity installed during the previous eight years combined by 30 to 433 percent (CEFIA 2013). In MA, the four pilot cities saw increases of 340 to 775 percent in the total number of home solar systems in the their communities (MassCEC 2012). Since the first pilots, the program has been expanded to four additional municipalities in CT, and 17 more in MA. This study uses difference-in-differences and propensity score matching approaches to isolate the impact of the program on solar installation rates from the influences of underlying demographic and economic characteristics. Our identification strategy is conceptually based on comparing installation rates in Solarize towns before and during the campaign to those in comparable cities that applied for or were otherwise eligible for the Solarize program but were ultimately not selected. We use a rich dataset of the timing and location of all solar installations in CT and MA and match these data with Census demographic data, which includes demographic characteristics such as population density, racial makeup, and average household size, income, and level of education. Preliminary results suggest that the Solarize program has had dramatic effects on the rate of adoption. This work has important implications for whether the Solarize program should be continued in future years, and more generally for policy-makers attempting to allocate incentive money so as to leverage the greatest increase in installed solar capacity. Moreover, it demonstrates the effectiveness of combined non-price and price interventions in inducing further solar PV adoptions.
Bethany Glinsmann Navigant Consulting Smart Grid Showdown: Enabling Technologies vs. Dynamic Pricing. Results from a Smart Grid Pilot Program Introduction This research compares demand impacts from a Smart Grid pilot program in which opt-in participants were randomly assigned to four distinct test groups. Each of four pilot test groups received a unique combination of rates and one or more technologies to enable interval metering, provision of enhanced customer information about pricing and electricity consumption, and (for some participants) automated load response. The four pilot groups were designed to induce different behavioral responses from participants. One group only received information about their energy usage (ENHANCED INFORMATION). Results from this group indicate whether customers will change their energy usage without a monetary incentive or enabling technology. Another group received rebates for allowing the utility to take control of their thermostat during an event (PEAK TIME REBATE WITH LOAD CONTROL), in addition to receiving information about energy usage. Results from this group demonstrate the impacts from enabling technology. The third group was exposed to a time of use (TOU) rate with critical peak pricing (CPP), in addition to receiving information about energy usage (TOU WITH CPP). Results from this group indicate the degree of price responsiveness amongst participants during event hours, which typically fall during hot summer afternoons. The final group was exposed to the TOU rate with CPP in addition to receiving automated load control, in which the utility takes control of their thermostat during an event (TOU WITH CPP AND LOAD CONTROL). Results from this group indicate whether participants are willing to take additional price-induced energy-saving actions beyond the automated change in thermostat settings. A comparison of results across the four groups allows the researcher to tease out savings from automated customer response compared to savings which required customer action. Methods Evaluation of the pilot impacts incorporated hourly load data for all participating customers in a fixed-effects regression model. At a high level, the impacts during the seven event days were estimated by comparing hourly load on event days to hourly load on non-event days. The regression modeled how event impacts vary with hour of the day and weather. Methods will be discussed in brief, but the results are the primary focus of this work. Results Event-day demand reductions were largest for the two pilot groups with automated load control. Demand reductions for participants with load control were several times larger than for customers on the TOU/CPP rate without load control. Participants with automated load control and the TOU/CPP rate realized the largest demand reductions, but surprisingly these reductions were not statistically significantly different than demand reductions for participants with automated load control only. A surprising result is that automation of customer response is needed to produce significant demand reductions during events. Participants receiving only information about their energy usage did not reduce their load during event days. The evaluation also quantified demand reductions for various demographic subgroups (by income, usage, home size, etc.). The paper will discuss these results and their implications for future smart grid programs in greater detail.
Mimi Goldberg DNV KEMA Net Nits: Myths, Risks, and Rational Thinking for Assessing Net Impacts Determining the net savings attributable to an energy efficiency program has bedeviled evaluators since the early days of the industry. The challenges of providing a defensible estimate, the diversity of estimates that can result from different methods, and the vulnerability of results to attack by parties with vested interests in one outcome or another have led some to argue that net-to-gross (NTG) questions should be resolved by stipulated values, or ignored entirely. This paper will review why NTG estimation is important, and offer a framework for dealing with NTG issues and uncertainties in the contexts of program operations, program design, and policy setting. The paper will begin by reviewing why the attribution question matters from a policy perspective. The discussion distinguishes the different questions a policy maker or program designer needs to answer, and the approaches that can be useful for each. For example, determining the cumulative effectiveness of a program over many years is different from assessing whether the current program continues to be worth running. Assessing each of these questions will require a “NTG” measure, but these aren’t trying to measure the same thing and shouldn’t be expected to give the same answers. The paper will then review the types of assumptions and methodological limitations that can lead to skepticism regarding NTG methods, and describe ways to mitigate these uncertainties. Finally, the paper will describe how NTG uncertainty can be effectively dealt with in program planning and operations, and how NTG estimation can continue to be money well spent for program improvement.
Juan Gomez University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute UTSA’s SmartLiving Campus: A Real-Time Approach to America’s Future Increased energy consumption due to rapid population growth, urbanization, technological improvements, and behavioral patterns allows for unprecedented opportunities to better balance demand and supply of energy. Energy efficiency and conservation are two cost-effective, yet often overlooked, methods for tackling demand side management. The use of new, real-time technologies to monitor energy consumption at the building and sub-building level allow owners and tenants to view the affect of behavior on energy consumption. Deployment of such technologies enable building owners to better monitor building performance, identify opportunities for savings, and eliminate waste to ensure long-term sustainability. New low-cost sensor technology was deployed at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to monitor real-time energy consumption and better understand how energy is consumed. The system implemented provides access to disaggregated information allowing researchers to better quantify the impact of people and their behaviors on building energy performance. By disaggregating energy consumption, individuals can make informed decisions and reduce energy usage with few to no sacrifices or adjustments in behavior. Our SmartLiving Campus is equipped to provide real-time display of plug loads, HVAC, and lighting loads as well as solar photovoltaic array electricity generation and electric vehicle charging information. Active monitoring of energy consumption, installation of solar PV panels, deployment of electric vehicle charging stations, and improved technology are transforming the way the University of Texas at San Antonio adapts to growth, while providing valuable information to the community. Deployment of state-of-the-art energy technologies at UTSA demonstrates the potential for universities across the nation to serve as an agent of change in their local communities and surrounding metropolitan areas. Keywords: energy efficiency, energy consumption, university campus, commercial buildings, behavior, energy monitoring, building performance
Robert Graebert Stanford University Uncovering energy management practices that matter Every day, managers in charge of building energy performance must decide how to allocate their time and attention. Little evidence exists about which energy management practices have the greatest impact on buildings’ energy performance. This research examines the 23 practices in the Energy Star Guidelines for Energy Management to determine their individual and combined impact on lowering operating costs and environmental impact of facilities that are part of corporate campuses. The presentation covers our analysis of implemented practices and organizational factors at operational and strategic levels for a representative group of corporate campuses with energy costs of $1M/year and higher by conducting interviews for rapid, consistent, and thorough data collection. The resulting first empirical analysis of the impact of energy management practices on energy performance will provide the basis for prioritizing energy management practices to guide the adoption of these practices and training of building energy management professionals. We leverage the Energy Program Assessment Matrix metrics to quantify whether (and to what degree) certain energy management practices have been implemented. To capture empirical evidence of the impact of these practices on energy performance of buildings, we select a retrospective case study method. This method uses regression and time-based Qualitative Comparative Analysis to investigate the impact of energy management practices on building energy performance, by comparing the energy consumption before and after the implementation of practices. We use whole-building energy consumption data to remove the effect of changes in individuals’ behaviors which may coincide with the implementation of energy efficiency measures. Instead, building-level analysis allows us to capture collective changes in the behavior of occupants as a result of specific energy efficiency measures. We select comparative energy consumption metrics, such as Energy Star scores, across the campus for quantifying building energy performance and whole campus performance. We focus on historic comparisons of building energy performance to observe changes over time and to isolate the effects of energy management practices. To allow comparisons across campuses, we include all sources of energy, whether generated on-site or purchased from a utility. Finally, we complement this analysis with our ranking algorithm to empirically find the best practice technology among buildings and examine how the implementation of energy efficiency measures shifts the position of buildings with respect to the best-practice technology. This research contributes to the field of building energy efficiency by finding evidence for effects of energy management practices on building and campus energy performance. Our research will also demonstrate the means by which individual practices impact energy performance, both individually and in comparison with the best-practice technology. Practitioners can use these results to support the decision to adopt certain energy management practices. Future researchers can use the results of this research as a first example of empirical analysis of the impact of energy management practices on building performance, and create a formal framework for quantitatively explaining that impact. Policy makers can use the results of this research to update best practice guidelines to prioritize the most impactful practices.
Stephanie Gray Conservation Services Group Transforming an island community and economy: RePower Bainbridge Learn how Conservation Services Group formed RePower Bainbridge to reduce energy use on an island that exceeded energy capacity. Community mobilization, on-the-ground, high energy and highly visible marketing set RePower apart from other offers in the market. Unlike other programs, RePower uniquely connected residents of the county, trade allies and available offers. Session attendees will learn how a grant-funded program built on education, outreach, and successful partnerships not only influenced change, but boosted a local economy through job creation. Over three years, RePower achieved island community adoption when entry to the program shifted from RePower outreach to direct contractor referrals, building sustainable momentum within the community post-grant funding. Achievements/Results/Concepts: In collaboration with Puget Sound Energy and Cascade Natural Gas Corporation, RePower offers in-home energy assessments, energy-efficiency financing, cash-back incentives and rebates, and a local, skilled workforce to make energy efficiency easier to achieve. RePower’s approach is geared to meet the needs of this unique Island community, where neighbors look to each other as influencers in making short- and long-term decisions. Learn how innovative marketing and community empowerment helped one community effectively manage their energy usage. • Island dashboards showed real-time island energy use—displayed online, in island businesses, in ferry terminals—and alerted Islanders of power-down hours to mitigate high energy use. • Community mobilization, on-the-ground, high energy and highly visible marketing that highlighted island residents who have participated in RePower—resulting in nearly 50% home energy assessment island saturation. • Trade ally engagement which transformed the market and created 50 new jobs We will share the marketing approach and best practices that work effectively with an island or small, more isolated community to achieve community adoption. We will showcase a variety of campaigns, testimonials, conclusions and observations. A “how-to” guide for managing a successful Island energy-efficiency marketing program.
Allen Greenberg U.S. DOT/FHWA Challenges to Field-testing Pay-as-you-drive-and-you-save (PAYDAYS) Insurance Programs Incorporating Behavioral Economics Techniques in the U.S. Converting fixed insurance costs to pay-as-you-drive-and-you-save (PAYDAYS) pricing encourages voluntary reductions in driving that in turn reduce energy use, congestion, air pollution, and crashes. As presented at a previous BECC conference, and as would be briefly reviewed in a presentation at this upcoming conference, general behavioral economics research findings strongly suggest that different product offerings among the myriad of PAYDAYS insurance product possibilities would result in substantial differences in vehicle miles traveled and in the magnitude of related benefits. This presentation would review the behavioral economics strategies that are being tested in three separate PAYDAYS insurance pilots in the U.S., each receiving about $2 million in Federal funding. Because auto insurance is heavily regulated in the U.S., and insurance companies are very conservative on matters related to challenging customer expectations, designing and then deploying randomized controlled experiments on insurance product offerings has been difficult. This presentation would provide insights about combining behavioral economics and practical considerations from the deliberations surrounding the development of various Federal Highway Administration funded PAYDAYS insurance pilots.
Dena Gromet The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania The Cost of Environmental Messaging on Demand for Energy Efficiency Much attention has been given to the development of energy efficient technology as a way of addressing the problem of climate change, but the demand for energy efficiency has remained low due to a number of roadblocks (e.g., lack of information about energy savings; lack of immediacy about climate change concerns). Given these issues, one strategy for making energy efficient technology attractive to consumers has been to focus on its environmental benefits. This research demonstrates how this strategy can present an additional obstacle to individual adoption of energy efficiency in the United States due to the political polarization surrounding environmental issues. We investigated whether relying on the environment to promote energy efficient products may, in fact, deter otherwise interested consumers from purchasing these products due to its unwanted value connotations. Specifically, we examined the psychological value individuals place on energy-related concerns as a function of their political ideology, and the consequences these differing psychological valuations have for their energy efficient choices. We expected that labeling energy efficient products as environmental choices would be unattractive to conservatives, resulting in fewer choosing to purchase those options. We conducted two studies to test this hypothesis. Study 1 (N = 657) demonstrated that more politically conservative individuals were less in favor of investment in energy efficient technology than were those who were more politically liberal (controlling for other demographic predictors). This finding was primarily driven by the lessened importance that more conservative individuals placed on carbon emission reduction (an environmental value), rather than the less polarized values of energy independence (the most important value for conservatives) or energy cost reduction. Study 2 (N = 210) showed that this difference has consequences in a real choice context (in which participants had the choice to buy an incandescent light bulb or an energy efficient fluorescent light bulb). More politically conservative individuals were less likely to purchase the more expensive CFL when it was labeled with an environmental message than when it was unlabeled. This decrease in CFL purchases amongst more conservative participants was not matched by a corresponding increase in more liberal participants buying CFLs. The results demonstrate that promoting the environment can negatively impact demand for energy efficiency. Although one of the primary benefits of energy efficient products is its gentler impact on the environment, not everyone identifies with valuing environmental protection. Our results indicate that those on the political right will avoid purchasing energy efficient options when the choice is reflective of concern for the environment–options which they would have otherwise purchased. This research identifies an additional roadblock to the widespread adoption of energy efficiency in the United States: People have different values related to energy efficiency (associated with their political leanings), and the salience of these values can both attract and repel people from selecting energy efficient options. These findings highlight the importance of taking into account psychological value-based considerations in the individual adoption of energy efficiency technology in the United States and beyond.
Christine Hammer Sustainable Design + Behavior Resident Behavior and Zero Net Energy: West Village Case Study West Village in Davis, California is the largest zero net energy (ZNE) multi-family housing development in the United States. It is a 130-acre master-planned community consisting of 123 units of student housing (the Ramble), 189 staff apartment units (Viridian), a 14,000 sq. ft. recreation center (e.g. leasing space, fitness center, gym, and game room) and 42,000 sq. ft. in retail space. Students began occupying the Ramble in 2011. West Village is one of Pacific Gas & Electric’s Pilot ZNE Programs The focus of this paper is a pilot resident engagement program at the Ramble and based on the results of the pilot, a long-term approach to engage residents of the Ramble. The paper will attempt to answer the following research questions: is resident engagement necessary to achieve and maintain ZNE? Recognizing plug loads are a growing energy issue, what are effective strategies to engage residents to reduce plug loads? Designed to utilize passive cooling (e.g. operable windows, ceiling fans, etc.), what are effective strategies to encourage passive instead of mechanical cooling? Does the design process need to change to achieve ZNE and if so, in what ways? As a case study, how does West Village confirm or reject the central finding from The Technical Feasibility of Zero Net Energy Buildings in California (Arup, 2012) that ZNE buildings will be technically feasible for much of California’s new construction market in 2020? In the fall of 2012, Architectural Energy Corporation (AEC) began a Verification and Assessment study at West Village to verify the housing development is operating at ZNE. AEC is sub-metering for about a year the following end uses at numerous apartment units: HVAC, lighting and plug loads, and appliances. Preliminary data prior to the launch of AEC’s measurement work revealed some apartments at the Ramble were operating at ZNE but others were not. Besides achieving ZNE at more apartment units, other goals included identifying specific opportunities to improve the Ramble’s energy performance, exploring if ZNE requires long-term and systematic resident behavior change, testing a variety of behavior change tactics to engage residents, and familiarizing Carmel Partners staff (the development’s owner) to processes and tools to engage residents in the future. To achieve the goals above, Sustainable Design + Behavior, designed and implemented a pilot resident engagement program which took the form of a three-week energy conservation competition, Do It In the Dark, from November 12-30, 2012. The competition targeted 12 study units; 12 others formed a control group. Feedback (website information on unit energy consumption, tailored messages), personal contact (door-to door-visit), competition (weekly rankings and a prize), and education (an energy efficiency tip sheet) were strategies used to engage residents. Very little sub-metering has been conducted at housing developments or, for that matter, at ZNE projects. The paper will summarize the results of sub-metering a ZNE project for a long period of time, the barriers to achieving and maintaining ZNE, and ways to overcome barriers. And the paper will offer recommendations for ways the design process may need to change to achieve ZNE.
Ruth Rettie Kingston University Business School The CHARM Home Energy Study: a comparison of individual and social norms feedback The Home Energy Study explored the effects of providing householders with digital feedback on the amount of electricity they consumed. The 18-week study used a quasi-randomised controlled experiment to test the impacts of two types of feedback: one showing each household’s own consumption and one that also included average figures for other households in the same neighbourhood. The study recorded how much electricity participants used and how often they looked at the feedback provided. Interviews (N=31) and focus groups (N=3) provided an in-depth understanding of how people responded to the feedback. Over 400 households were recruited door-to-door from one poorer and one richer area of Bristol, UK, and of these, 316 (79%) completed the study and the pre- and post-study questionnaires. After a two-week baseline period without feedback, those in the two intervention conditions (i.e. all except those in the control group) were sent a weekly email containing a tip on how to save electricity, a graph showing their consumption and an invitation to access similar graphs on specially-provided web pages. An analysis of the effectiveness of the feedback yielded mixed results. Although the data was indicative of reductions in consumption (relative to the control group) for the two feedback conditions, the change (3%) was too small for significance testing. However, the qualitative research indicates that the feedback did make electricity consumption more visible to participants, increasing their awareness of its use in everyday activities and practices, and encouraging them to evaluate their electricity use and try to change the elements energy-consuming practices that they identified as ‘wasteful’. This process of appraisal and change occurred over a relatively short period and was facilitated by the presentation of the feedback data in hourly or half-hourly periods, which allowed users to relate it to their own practices. The inclusion in the feedback of social norms data made no difference to levels of consumption but was associated with significantly higher downloading of the graphs. More research into this area is clearly needed. Researchers should consider providing feedback on particular behaviours or practices rather than on the more abstract level of overall electricity consumption. This study provides some support for the role of feedback in reducing electricity consumption but questions the need to complement feedback on individual usage with social norms feedback. This demonstrates the importance of including an individual feedback condition in any evaluation of social norms feedback.
Richard Hart EnerNOC Manufacturers are people too: Behavior change takes industrial savings to the next level Have manufacturers been left behind as exciting developments in behavioral energy savings sweep through residential and commercial customers? Our experience, based on implementing behavior change at 60 manufacturing companies across the Northwest, is that manufacturers understand as well as anyone how behavior leads to energy savings, but the approach has to be different. Ironically, North American manufacturers have been practicing behavior change for decades. Starting in the 1970s, quality and safety programs have become a mainstay of best practices for successful manufacturers. These programs, with names like Six Sigma and Plan-Do-Check-Act, typically have two basic components: a focus on continuous improvement and a mandate for every employee to be engaged. We have now seen manufacturers apply these same components to energy consumption in their facilities, in an approach that is widely called Strategic Energy Management (SEM). In this presentation we discuss our experience, and then provide specific recommendations to program managers who are interested in implementing these programs. We also provide pointers to academics who are looking to understand the impact of behavior change in this context. Our presentation includes the following components: • Basic components of Strategic Energy Management. We outline the key steps to involve organizations at multiple levels. • Engaging individuals. We discuss the basic concepts in changing individual behavior within the firm. • Actual outcomes. We provide examples of real, persistent changes in industrial companies, particularly those which deliver long-term energy savings. • Potential savings at a facility level. We put some numbers to these programs. For example, in one program, 14 participants delivered 68,000,000 kWh in first-year savings. • Success criteria for market segments and firms. These programs are not for everyone. We discuss which market segments have more potential, and how to identify likely winners in those segments. • Measurement and verification (M&V). Measuring savings in behavioral programs is notoriously difficult, especially in small sample sizes. We discuss the essential elements of an SEM savings model and how program managers could use this approach. • Outstanding issues. As a fairly new field, SEM opens up many lines of investigation, such as savings attribution, effective training methods, managing cultural change for the long haul, and interaction with energy pricing. We lay out some of the issues for the energy efficiency industry to pursue. This is necessarily a brief overview of a large topic that is intended to spark conversations and ideas for action among the audience.
Beth Hartman E Source How to Make Saving Energy as Fun as Skiing Behavior change programs for the residential sector are quickly evolving, and one of the most promising methods of engaging customers in these new programs is through leveraging the power of existing social networks. Other industries such as the outdoor recreation business have quickly learned the importance of enabling customer engagement with social networks, creating applications such as Epic Mix from Vail Resorts that transform customer data into a competitive experience. If Vail can make the investment to collect the data necessary to create such a popular app, then utilities should be able to take advantage of existing smart meter data to create the next generation of customer engagement: competition between residential customers who earn points, prizes and social status through comparing energy savings with friends. Through enabling this type of real customer engagement with residential energy efficiency programs, utilities will be better positioned to achieve the demand-side management results needed to sustain the business model of the future. Since the advent of energy-focused behavior change programs just a few short years ago, we have seen an explosion of interest, experiments, pilots, and full-blown programs implemented by utilities. Several innovative new companies have emerged to compete in this space including Simple Energy and OPower, working with utility partners to engage customers in conservation behavior using techniques that include gaming, competitions, sweepstakes, savings commitments, peer comparisons and social norms, energy use feedback, and customized energy advice. In addition, the increasing ubiquity of smart phones and smart meter data that can provide nearly real-time energy use feedback makes the behavioral arena especially ripe for growth and innovation. Through comparing results from utility behavior-based efficiency programs leveraging social media platforms with innovative strategies from the skiing and outdoor recreation industry, we will demonstrate the importance of this new approach towards achieving meaningful customer engagement. Specifically, we will address: • The Biggest Energy Saver program (EE pilot with SDG&E and Simple Energy) • The San Diego Energy Challenge (DR program with SDG&E and Simple Energy) • Partnerships between National Grid, Pepco, and Simple Energy • Partnerships between utilities and OPower using the new Facebook app • Other Facebook applications from ComEd, Xcel Energy, and SCE • EpicMix customer engagement platform created by Vail Resorts • Engagement platforms from other industries such as travel journals from MapQuest We will share energy impacts, customer interest and enrollment, cost-effectiveness, marketing approaches, and other unique attributes of each case study. Finally, we will provide our prognosis for the programs that have the highest potential for savings, longevity, and the future of the utility business model. To balance the three-legged stool of DSM, the two legs of programs and technology need to be complemented by investments in behavioral elements. In particular, regulators are starting to understand the importance of these programs and are watching intently to see if cost-effective savings are available and reliable. Finally, start-up companies are accelerating innovation in this space and our industry needs to keep up, especially as other industries contribute to rapidly changing customer expectations.
Kelly Rose PECI The Kilowatt Cup: Engaging and Sustaining Through Healthy Competition Can a trophy and some friendly competition among employees spur behavioral changes that power energy savings for businesses? It’s an interesting question, given that businesses and the energy efficiency industry have historically focused on upgrades to equipment and facilities as the primary way to reduce energy costs. With building systems becoming more efficient, the human side of the energy equation is becoming more important. Changing employee behavior as a means to reduce energy consumption may be an untapped opportunity. At PECI, we use our office as a living laboratory. Our offices, which occupy three floors, include comprehensive energy efficiency improvements resulting in energy use below the building’s LEED Platinum status requirements. Conference and workspace occupancy sensors control lighting. We utilize variable speed HVAC fans, LED task lighting and computer monitors connected to occupancy controlled smart plug strips, photocells and Energy Star appliances. We keep real-time tabs on our energy use with an information system by Pulse Energy that monitors our lighting, HVAC, data center and plug load energy down to the per-circuit level. In the spirit of our living lab, PECI began The Kilowatt Cup in 2012, an annual contest designed to reduce individual energy use. We employed a variety of different behavioral strategies, including commitment, social proof, and authority. For the two-week contest period, we applied separate techniques on each of the three floors with one floor being the “control”. We learned that things had the largest impact: public pledges and peer support (which was unplanned but happened organically on two floors). The contest led to a 14% reduction in plug load energy use with 86% of employees participating. Fast forward to 2013. Not surprisingly, most of our energy savings from the 2012 contest eroded – the positive changes in behavior did not persist. This year’s contest will have a specific focus on increasing the persistence of behavior change. First, we will extend the contest to run for one month. Again, we will apply different strategies to each floor. Employees on one floor will see all individual employee data on plug load use. Another will have data on their own energy use in comparison to the entire floor’s average. Employees on another floor will see only their own energy use and no other data. To sustain the behavior, we will test different communication techniques for persistence. Random, unexpected prompts will appear for an extended period of time (pattern interruption). We will report regularly on progress and will look at the successes from the contest that can be carried into the follow-on period. We’re launching this year’s contest to coincide with Earth Day. At BECC 2013, we will have six months of post-contest data to share. We’ll compare the results from the 2012 and 2013 contests, with a special emphasis on the new techniques, persistence measures and results to draw conclusions about how to bring the human side of energy efficiency into the workplace.
Kristin Heinemeier UC Davis – WCEC Behavioral and Social Impacts on HVAC Energy Efficiency: Beyond the End User This paper describes the HVAC Behavioral Research Initiative, an initiative to address human factors as they affect diffusion, adoption and correct use of energy efficient HVAC technologies, including results from ongoing research on HVAC maintenance behaviors on both the end user and the technicians’ part. Findings indicate the urgent need to consider all levels of HVAC professionals as part of the human system addressed by behavioral and social research. We propose an expanded framework of the actors and practices that merit social behavioral exploration, from HVAC manufacturers and developers, to end users. There is a core set of academic, consulting and industry researchers active in the areas of thermostat usage research, advanced thermostat usability, and efficiency and energy saving potentials of advanced/learning thermostats. It has been significantly harder to identify research programs around the areas of contractor, technician and manufacturer behavior, although field research in new HVAC technology implementation failures often call for attention to this area. Other than through utility program evaluations, this area, which may be vital to appropriate selection, installation, maintenance, and retrofitting of cooling systems, remains under-researched in the energy efficiency and behavior sectors. Research regarding behavior, energy efficiency and cooling is centered on the interaction of users and thermostats, and only marginally interested in interactions between users and cooling equipment, or users and cooling “professionals”, although these professionals, in all likelihood, are the source of most end-user knowledge about HVAC. This paper describes two studies that serve as cornerstones of the HVAC Behavioral Research Initiative. The “Technician Observation Study” found that HVAC maintenance technicians are unlikely to promote energy efficiency measure to customers or to conduct HVAC maintenance up to industry standards. Technicians appear to have the necessary training to do so, but constraints set by the industry structure and perceived customer priorities get in the way. Our “Understanding Maintenance Behavior Study” found that although residential end highly value their air conditioner, they perceive it as a durable, low-tech, low-maintenance technology. These barriers for the promotion of high-quality efficiency oriented maintenance services, retrofits or replacements show that attitudes towards the equipment can be as relevant to energy efficiency solutions as attitudes towards interfaces (such as the thermostat). The “Understanding Maintenance Behavior Study” also identified problems in the implementation of utility incentive programs for maintenance. Small business owners consider program implementation too cumbersome, and program incentives too low, to be worth their involvement. Given these findings, the HVAC initiative calls for more socio-behavioral research on areas related to technicians, contractors and utilities involved in HVAC energy efficiency related programs. They also indicate that users’ attitudes and relationship to the HVAC equipment need to be revisited, since they may be as important as end users’ interactions with thermostats. This paper refocuses attention on these areas, with particular emphasis on developing and testing interventions with “HVAC professionals” (technicians, contractors, manufacturers) and their relational systems, to review how their interactions enhance or detract from their commitment to encourage energy efficiency as a crucial part of cooling technologies.
Manuel Hertel Science Centre Straubing/Germany Chair of Marketing and Management of Biogenic Resources Adoption of Energy Efficienct Technologies in SME: The Role of Management’s Behavior In many European small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) energy costs are an important input factor and an increasing cost factor. Although a wide range of innovative techniques exist to improve production efficiency, particularly in smaller companies the technical equipment isn´t always up to date. Several studies show, that there is a high technical and economic potential of improving energy-efficiency in producing companies. Scientific literature on that topic shows lots of barriers which hinder or fasten implementation of innovative energy-saving techniques in small and medium sized companies. Most important factors refer to a lack of information about energy-efficient technology and the missing motivation of company’s owners to improve energy efficiency. In small and medium enterprises, with its flat hierarchies, investment decisions are mostly taken by the owner or manager of the companies. This study is aimed to identify the personal factors of managers which influence implementation of energy-saving techniques in SME. Based on economic, social and marketing theory, three differently focused models have been developed to explain distinctions in energy-efficient technology usage in SME. (1) An internal-factor based model concentrates on attitudes and values of managing directors and importance of energy in production processes. (2) Furthermore an external-factor based model mainly considers the business environment by giving thought to external influences on investment decisions and financial, technical and economic restrictions. (3) The technical based model focuses on notable innovations in the area of energy saving and considers evaluations of managers referring to new technical equipment. The assessment of the developed structural equation models is examined by a Partial Least Square (PLS) procedure using the collected data of 104 German companies in horticultural business. Managers were asked for rating about 110 statements, which build several latent variables like e. g. innovativeness, ecological attitude or involvement. As dependent variable, energy-efficiency was measured by simulating the energy consumption of assessed companies. The assessed structural equation models show, among other results, significant positive correlations of innovativeness and absorptive capacity of managers towards energy-efficiency in the production process, whereas the relation between ecological awareness and ratio-based management towards energy-efficiency is negative.
Tianzhen Hong LBNL A framework to describe and model human energy-related behavior in buildings Green buildings that fail to meet expected design performance criteria indicate that technology alone does not guarantee high performance. Human influences are quite often simplified and ignored in the design, construction, and operation of buildings. Energy-conscious human behavior has been demonstrated to be a significant positive factor for improving the indoor environment while reducing the energy use of buildings. In our study we developed a new technical framework to describe and model energy-related human behavior in buildings. The energy-related behavior includes purchasing energy efficient products and appliances, occupant interaction with energy consuming building systems and appliances, and hot water usage. Behavior of building operators/managers and occupants are covered in our study. The technical framework consists of three key components: the drivers behind energy-related occupant behavior, which are biological, societal, environmental, physical, and economical in nature; the needs of the occupants and building managers that are based on satisfying occupant thermal, visual and acoustic comfort criteria and providing good IAQ; and the actions that building operators or occupants perform when their needs are not fulfilled. The technical framework aims to provide a standardized description of a complete set of human energy-related behaviors in the form of an XML schema. For each type of behavior (e.g., occupants opening/closing windows, switching on/off lights etc.) we identify a set of common behaviors based on a literature review, survey data, and our own field study and analysis. Stochastic models are adopted or developed for each type of behavior to enable the evaluation of the impact of human behavior on energy use in buildings, during either the design or operation phase. We will also demonstrate the use of the technical framework in assessing the impact of occupancy behavior on energy saving technologies. The technical framework presented is part of our human behavior research, a 5-year program under the U.S. – China Clean Energy Research Center for Building Energy efficiency.
Christine Hungeling Itron In-Home Displays: Impact on Customer Behavior OBJECTIVE As utilities are rolling out AMI systems, the opportunities for different types of behavioral change programs are expanding. The idea of having an in-home display that presents interval usage data and/or real time costs is now a reality. As pilot programs are beginning to arise, now is the time to determine what information these displays need to provide to affect customers’ energy consumption. The objective of this paper is to show the impact of two different types of in-home displays on residential energy usage. One display provides the customer with real time kWh and kW consumption information while the other display provides the customer with real time cost per hour and current tier level. In addition, this paper will compare the impact between those who are already signed up for a peak time rebate program with notifications and those who are not. RESULTS The results of this study provide an in-depth look at how providing customers with real time data via an in-home display affected their energy consumption in a Southern California Edison Real-Time Cost Pilot program. It looks at the impact of providing real time costs vs. real time consumption. It provides a quantitative look at whether or not customers’ behavior changes when they receive these two different metrics of monitoring energy usage in their homes. This evaluation employed two different control groups selected using the propensity score matching technique. The first control group is a set of customers who already receive peak time notifications via text, email, or phone. The second control group does not receive any type of peak time notification. This paper further investigates whether or not one of these groups is more likely to benefit from in-home displays than the other group. Worthiness This paper provides program planners and implementers with impact results from a pilot program testing out two different types of in-home displays. It also looks at the impact of installing in-home displays in homes that already receive notification of peak time rebate events and those who do not. Program planners and implementers can use the results of this pilot study to better understand customers’ behavior changes and better design future programs using in-home displays integrated with AMI systems.
Susan Hunt Stevens Practically Green Driving Behavior Change Through Persuasive Technology Based on a National Environmental Education Foundation/Roper Report, only 12% of Americans would pass a basic energy quiz. Companies increasingly need to fill that gap by providing education and awareness programs that both engage and drive behavior change. This is where persuasive technology can work. This session will explore why persuasive technology is making it easier for companies, employees and even consumers to achieve sustainability success and drive culture change at scale. Three cutting-edge technology companies in this sector will present their research and findings and provide in-depth insight into what’s working, what’s not working, the best practices that any company can implement, as well as what challenges still remain in a marketplace that is changing by the minute. Practically Green is a pioneer in the use of interactive technology and gamification to drive positive behavior change. As a leading provider of sustainability engagement programs in North America and around the world, Practically Green motivates, empowers and quantifies the real-time impact of employee sustainability efforts both in the workplace and the communities they live in. Practically Green’s clients includes Fortune 500 companies such as EnerNOC, as well as sustainability leaders like Seventh Generation. Practically Green was awarded a 2012 MITX Innovation award for Best Use of Game Mechanics, and was recently named one of “Boston’s 5 Startups to Watch” by Wired magazine.
Laura Hutchings Populus LLC Accelerating Residential Energy Efficiency Upgrades with People-First Approaches to Energy Efficiency Program Delivery With over ten thousand homes served throughout the Colorado Front Range, the “energy advisor” or “energy concierge” approach to residential demand-side management program implementation has achieved average single-family conversion rates higher than 70% for customers making investments in energy efficiency upgrades. Populus will share key programmatic insights by analyzing data trends from the two largest community-scale energy efficiency programs in Colorado: the Denver Energy Challenge and Boulder EnergySmart. This paper will examine key data trends that have been leveraged to enhance programmatic design. For example, why do customers who have energy audits performed tend to make upgrades at a lower rate than customers who work only with an energy advisor? This paper will explain how this next generation “People First, Buildings Second” model is achieving results by leveraging social norms, customer propensity scoring and good old-fashioned human relationships. In addition to explaining the role of the energy advisor in residential energy efficiency programs, this paper will explore how a customer-centric approach to energy efficiency programs can enhance existing utility energy audit or home performance demand-side management programs to drive deeper and wider energy savings.
Marjorie Isaacson CNT Energy Selling Retrofits Via the Tupperware Model Energy Impact Illinois (EI2) is a regional effort to transform the energy efficiency market in northern Illinois northern Illinois, funded by the USDOE’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars. After an award-winning and costly resulted in few retrofit projects, it was clear that a completely different approach was needed. CNT Energy (the implementation agency for EI2) engaged an expert in outreach from the world of political campaigns to help us design a campaign for energy efficiency. Our strategy was based on community organizing techniques; hiring 20 paid field organizers (FOs) to staff geographic turfs throughout the region. The FOs utilized existing networks of community organizations and leaders in an outreach campaign, taking advantage of these “trusted messengers” to convey the benefits of energy efficiency investments. The primary mechanism for recruiting homeowners to invest in air sealing and insulation for their buildings was the “Impact Party.” Akin to the old-fashioned Tupperware Party, a homeowner host receives a free energy assessment inexchange for inviting five to ten neighbors to hear a presentation from the FO and a contractor who performs the audit. This event enables the FO and contractor to explain and demonstrate unfamiliar concepts such as air sealing and highlight potential improvements. The “show and tell” format often featured equipment such as blower doors or infrared cameras. Attendees could sign up for audits of their homes, or to host an Impact Party of their own. The FOs were supported by a call center staffed by Energy advocates, who served as a resource for homeowners throughout the process. Their tasks ranged from follow-up calls to check on the homeowner’s progress (“How did your assessment go?” “Have you made an appointment to have work done on your home?”) to troubleshooting kinks in the process (“You haven’t received your report yet? We’ll call the contractor and make sure it gets expedited”). Another component of transforming this energy efficiency market was building the capacity of the local contractor industry. While the outreach activities provided a steady stream of motivated customers, not all contractors were ready to meet the demand. The program requirements included obtaining Illinois Home Performance with Energy Star certification, achieving 15% energy savings through air sealing and insulation, and passing third-party quality inspections of their work. CNT Energy eventually assigned 3.5 full-time staff to provide contractor support, which ranged from coaching in energy modeling to assistance in back-office functions. This oversight also identified gaps in contractors’ building science expertise, such as knowledge of how to insulate cathedral ceilings. CNT developed workshop trainings to address these specific instances. Additional financing for the retrofits was provided by local gas and electric utilities. Combining these funding streams into a single offering reduced confusion and simplified the program for consumers. This collaborative program has proven to be a model for building demand and maximizing participation. Marjorie Isaacson, Kimberly Loewen
Susan Jamison Energy Trust of Oregon Feeding a community through fridge recycling Energy efficiency can be a tough sell. We equate it to “improved indoor air quality,” “trees planted” and “cars-off-the-road,” but do consumers really relate to those numbers? Will this information convince them to buy an efficient product or recycle an old appliance? And what if someone asked how those numbers are calculated? Could we explain before their eyes glazed over? Marketers of energy-efficiency programs face these questions every day, but the reality is that environmental and energy benefits aren’t always compelling—and the non-energy benefits we cite, however true, may illicit skepticism. But what happens when we give consumers the opportunity to do more than save energy—to make an even bigger, tangible and local difference—without asking them to do more? Will they be more likely to act if it benefits both the environment and their community? Energy Trust of Oregon will test this theory this summer through a collaborative effort between its fridge recycling program and Oregon Food Bank. From May through July, consumers will be given the option of donating their $40 fridge recycling incentive to the food bank. Each $40 incentive donated will translate to 120 meals for people in need. While kilowatt hours and carbon emissions can seem ephemeral, hunger is something all humans understand. In this presentation, Energy Trust will compare the results of this campaign to the approaches and results from the 2011 and 2012 campaigns to explore the impacts of this new collaboration. Metrics addressed will include participation rates, media hits, advertising, website activity and spikes or dips in participation related to specific activities. Because the campaign will run this summer, these numbers will be recent and relevant. Energy Trust will also share participant feedback, lessons learned and its plans for the future. By the end of this presentation, attendees will better understand the potential implications of not only appealing to the consumers’ sense of environmental responsibility, but also empowering them to act locally.
Kathryn Janda University of Oxford, ECI Reconstructing Promises in Energy Efficiency: Building Bridges Between Hero, Learning, and Love Stories At BECC 2012, a session on “Hollywood Media and Messaging” focused on how stories about energy and climate change are told to the public. This paper focuses on stories that energy demand researchers tell themselves, each other, their funders, and the public. Energy demand researchers know there is a “performance gap” between what efficiency promises and what happens in reality. Reasons for this “gap” abound. There are market failures of various kinds; sundry barriers to optimal practice; and people who are—can you imagine?—downright ignorant of the energy implications of their actions. Yet every year more demonstration projects and research efforts try to overcome the odds. Given forty years of super-efficient technologies that are never quite what they seem, why is there still so much effort devoted to trying to prove that efficiency will work as promised? This paper uses different kinds of stories to explain why energy efficiency advocates seem to repeat their efforts. It focuses on the normal practices of energy research, suggesting that behaviour change within efficiency industry is necessary to reconstruct “the promise” of efficiency and better engage others in our efforts. This paper uses three case studies to show that the performance gap exists pretty much everywhere: in a “green” academic building in the US; in a European energy project spanning hundreds of buildings in the UK, Corsica, the Netherlands, and Spain; and in a UK deep retrofit programme involving 119 housing units. These cases demonstrate how implicit narratives can create conflict when the tellers (e.g., researchers) have to tell one kind of story but have data for another. We begin by providing a brief description of story types that are relevant for the energy field, with a particular focus on “hero stories” and “learning stories,” although we also discuss “horror stories.” Our data show how standard research practice emphasizes the hero story over any other kind of narrative, even though this storyline is usually fragmented, confusing, and incomplete. The comparative case analysis reveals several causes of this lack of coherence, including differences in the types of stories that can be told, our inevitable lack of omnipotence, and the confounding dimension of time. The “story” of a building is a variable, evolving subject. It is continually influenced by physical and social contexts, from initial conception to eventual demolition or selective perpetuation. In our discussion, we sketch the relationship between story types, building lifecycle stages, research options, and policy interventions. Finally we make recommendations for resolving the fragmentation of the narrative arc in energy research. We argue that telling more learning stories will balance the inspiration provided by hero stories, rather than undermining their promises. We also suggest that we may need to develop our ability to tell yet another kind of tale—the love story—to explain why better buildings are worth the effort. By recognizing that different kinds of stories are important, the paper provides recommendations for policymakers, researchers, implementers, and users to resolve conflicts and tensions between different kinds of tales.
Alan Jenn Carnegie Mellon University An empirical study of vehicular rebound effects in Pennsylvania The transportation sector in the United States contributes to a large share of greenhouse gas emissions and raise issues concerning the demand for foreign oil. One strategy to decrease overall energy use is to increase the energy efficiency of vehicles, while providing the same or improved level of energy service. This type of approach is particularly appealing because it does not require a behavioral change on the part of the consumer to achieve savings, e.g. it does not require driving less. However, it does require that consumers adopt new and more efficient transportation alternatives, which may provide a barrier to adoption. Also, one potential issue with increasing efficiency is that the consumer will end up using the product to a greater extent and hence diminish or even cancel out the savings from energy efficiency: a phenomenon known as the rebound effect. This work is a case study examining the rebound effect for Toyota Priuses and other fuel efficient vehicles in Pennsylvania using a unique dataset with 75 million inspection records over 11 years containing VIN numbers, inspection tests, odometer readings, and ZIP code locations for every vehicle in Pennsylvania. Rebound has typically been studied in this field based on modeling behavior or through sampling of subjects using surveys, our work is one of the first to empirically examine driving behavior of hybrid owners and accurately indicate the presence and magnitude of this effect. A complex and unique database is constructed in MySQL for all of the inspection, registration, and vehicle data with the 75 million inspection records, in addition to 40 million registration records from 2011, and complemented with demographic data by ZIP code from the US Census. First, we compare characteristics (such as vehicle type, weight, fuel economy) of the vehicles across ZIP codes throughout Pennsylvania and what attributes differ across demographic boundaries using an econometric analysis. By paneling over regions, unobserved characteristics that drive vehicle ownership patterns can be accounted for. Then, each of the approximately 40 million unique vehicles in Pennsylvania are tracked individually every year to observe driving behavior patterns over time. Finally, we compare annual driving patterns against fuel economies of the respective vehicles in a fixed effects analysis paneling across ZIP codes and controlling for other vehicle characteristics to examine whether Prius driving behavior is outside the expected range of vehicle miles travelled given their fuel economy characteristics. Using a fixed effects approach, the issue of self-selection (where a driver drives more and therefore owns a fuel efficient vehicle, rather than vice versa) is eliminated by paneling by individual.
Lupe Jimenez Sacramento Municipal Utility District SMUD IHD Checkout Pilot Project Overview SMUD’s In-Home Display Checkout pilot offers residential and small-business customers the chance to borrow technology to learn about their whole-house electricity consumption and its impact on their SMUD bills. In-home displays are currently available for a two-month loan from public libraries or directly from SMUD, which we’ll send to customers via the U.S. Postal Service. The pilot project will evaluate the following: o Customer interest in and satisfaction with in-home displays, o SMUD’s ability to provide and enable installation of third-party home area network equipment, and o The subsequent impact on customer bills. The program is part of SMUD’s SmartSacramento project, funded in part by a U.S. Department of Energy Smart Grid Investment Grant. Goals Goals center on customer acceptance of and response to whole-house electricity consumption and cost information provided in near real-time. SMUD is focused on the impact of customer behavior on energy-efficiency, in response to readily accessible cost and electricity-usage information. Additional objectives are customer satisfaction and enhanced energy literacy. This pilot program also seeks to explore options for enabling third-party distribution of home-area-network equipment that works with SMUD’s smart grid network and to understand the challenges and options for future programs and partnerships. Design and Features The design allows customers to borrow an in-home display for two months. Customers can borrow it from SMUD directly or borrow one from a public library. If the display is checked out directly from SMUD, we prepare it for use and ship it to the customer, sending prepaid return packaging. Customers who check out the display from the library call SMUD to learn over the phone how to prepare the display for use and will return the device directly to the library. For small-commercial customers, energy specialists will deliver the device during scheduled energy audits. There is no cost to customers, and SMUD’s Residential Services staff will support their needs. The evaluation will measure customer satisfaction with the pilot, ease of use, and resulting energy efficiency to the extent possible. Benefits • No cost to the customer. • Real-time consumption and cost information. • Potential bill savings from behavior change. • Increased energy literacy. At-a-Glance Facts Pilot population: Residential and small-commercial customers. Number of test group types: Four. Total invitations: Open to all residential and small-commercial customers. Pilot type: Proof of concept. Groups: • 300 in circulation: Checked out from SMUD and sent to customers via U.S. Postal Service. • 25 in circulation (150 for second phase): Checked out from Sacramento public libraries. • 150 in circulation: Energy Insights Weatherization Pilot Program. • 50 in circulation: Distribution during small-commercial energy audits. Technology summary: • Energy Aware Power Tab In-Home Display. • Digi XBee ZB Smart Energy Range Extender. Rate summary: • No new rates are offered in this pilot. • Rates displayed will not be customer-specific. The most common rates will be used for educational purposes and customer rate tiers will not change.
Lupe Jimenez Strickland Sacramento Municipal Utility District SMUD EV Innovators Pilot Project Overview SMUD’s residential EV Innovators pilot will evaluate EV charging patterns during various times throughout the day and the impacts of dynamic pricing coupled with load control technology. SMUD has developed two EV-specific time-based rates and partnered with Clipper Creek to build the first ZigBee-enabled level two EV charging station capable of remote load reduction. The goal of the project is to learn the preferences of electric vehicle drivers and get feedback on two new pricing plans. The pilot also aims to make drivers more aware of off-peak charging and its benefits, both to the customer and to the utility. The pilot will be a foundation for future program designs and equipment procurements. This pilot contains three research treatment groups: Whole House Pricing Plan, Dedicated Meter Pricing Plan self-managed load, and Dedicated Meter Pricing Plan with a SMUD-managed load. Installations are currently underway for the 2013 summer rates. The pilot will also conduct market research to assess driver attitudes about vehicle charging hardware and strategies, different pricing options and how effectively SMUD is educating the public and delivering information about electric vehicles. The pilot is part of SMUD’s SmartSacramento portfolio of programs and is funded in part by the utility’s Smart Grid Investment Grant. Project Design & Features The study will place customers in one of three pricing plans featuring time-based pricing with low-cost, off-peak pricing: • Whole House Pricing Plan: This is for electric vehicles charging at 120 volts. The vehicle charges are combined with the customer’s residential electric bill, with reduced pricing during off-peak periods. • Dedicated Meter Pricing Plan with a self-managed option: This is for customers who charge at up to 240 volts. Customers will be notified one day before a Conservation Day. The customer is expected to manage the charging of their electric vehicles during the Conservation Day period by avoiding charging during periods when prices are much higher. • Dedicated Meter Pricing Plan with a SMUD-managed option: This is for customers who charge at up to 240 volts. Charging loads for plugged-in vehicles will automatically be reduced to 1.4 kW during Conservation Day periods to reduce strain on the grid. SMUD will control the load reduction by sending a signal through the meter to a “smart” charging station. The customer will receive a notice one day before the Conservation Day. SMUD also will evaluate up to 20 Data-Only customers who charge at 120 volts on a dedicated circuit. In this group 120-volt charging patterns will be evaluated. Benefits: • Lower off-peak charging prices • Electric vehicle charge will show separately on monthly bill for the Self- and SMUD-Managed plans • Two electric vehicle specialists will provide customer support by answering questions and analyzing and discussing usage data. • Reduced load on local transformers and the grid in general. • Reduced carbon emissions. • Promoting clean-air transportation.
Evan Johnson University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Is Facebook Making Us Greener? – The Roles of Social Connectedness and Web Use in Shaping Conservation Priorities This project attempts to bolster scholarly discourse on the use of social capital to solve collective action problems related to energy behavior. Despite the growing prominence of energy analysis in U.S. policy since the 1970’s, human social behavior has received comparatively little attention as a major factor in explaining variation in energy consumption. Environmental behavioral and policy research has also yet to explore seriously the impact of various forms of social capital on behavioral and attitudinal trends in unsustainable energy consumption. The suggested analysis aims specifically to determine the influence of technology-driven social norms and connectedness on energy conservation priorities. It employs data collected through a residential energy customer segmentation study that links energy consumption and behavioral data to a uniquely rich set of attitudinal survey measures. Negative binomial regression techniques are used to estimate the conservation implications of increased social capital as reflected by heavy use of online networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. Models will test whether heavy users of these tools place high levels of importance on environmental priorities such as the need to confront climate change. Additional analysis examines whether survey participants are “practicing what they preach” by comparing these attitudinal measures to their actual levels of energy consumption. The data allow for count measures of different priorities based on a 10-point sticker allocation system in which survey respondents placed 20 stickers across an array of 8 competing priorities such as cost savings, comfort, and environmental protection. Results confirm theoretical connections between web-based social capital and conservation priorities. High levels of web-use are strongly associated with pro-environmental attitudes relative to competing cost and comfort-based priorities. Further, each additional point allocated to environmental protection is associated with a 2.4 % decrease in annual electricity expenditure. This information is directly relevant to policymakers, utility managers, and industry representatives seeking to design energy strategies that capitalize on differences in human behavior with regard to their attitudes and use of technology. Such enhanced understanding of residential energy behavior the will allow managers to target receptive demographics and effective technological solutions in designing energy policy. It will also inform new efforts to create technologies, educational campaigns and adaptations to existing utility systems that lead to lower levels of primary residential energy consumption in the U.S.
Cynthia Jolicoeur Marketing Drive Connecting the Dots Between Social Activation and Behavior Change The power of social media to inspire change is widely acknowledged. Social platforms have been credited with achievements ranging as lofty as electing world leaders and fueling social movements, to commercial pursuits such as creating celebrities and building brands. Social media dominates consumers’ online time. A recent Nielsen study found that the general public spends 20% of their time online using social media, and among certain age groups, those figures are even higher. For example, the average Millennial spends over 40 hours per week on social media- the equivalent of a full time job! While social media continues to expand and digitize every day conversations, study after study across the United States points to word of mouth as a leading referral source to energy efficiency program participation and behavior change. This poses a challende for communications professionals in the energy efficiency sector: can we leverage social media to engage consumers and drive attitudes and behavior change in regards to energy efficiency programs? This paper will present the results of a market-based research study that was completed in conjunction with the execution of a residential energy efficiency products program sponsored by investor-owned utilities and energy efficiency program sponsors in Massachusetts. A pilot program was designed to test the ability of social media to amplify word of mouth about energy efficiency programs, with the complementary end-goals of creating a more educated and engaged consumer base, expanding program participation and driving behavior change. Early results demonstrate significant success, higher than anticipated audience engagement, consumer-to-consumer sharing and program participation. Specific findings shared in the paper will include program impact on prevailing attitudes and in-home behaviors with regard to energy efficiency, compared and contrasted between a group of socially engaged utility customers versus a control group; sales analysis of socially engaged customer participation in retail-based incentive programs aimed at adoption of energy efficient products; and web-based analysis of online consumer behavior with regard to further learning and program participation. The compilation of these three separate areas of study will demonstrate that a robust social media activation platform can indeed be successful in driving attitudinal and behavior change with regard to energy efficiency.
Duane Jonlin City of Seattle From Code-Minimum Mentality to Performance Standards Our existing energy code development process engenders a constant state of confrontation and politicization. On a perpetual three-year cycle, government agencies and activist organizations propose new code requirements, engineering and industry interests fight back, and the process is so lengthy that code change deadlines for each code edition have long since passed before the first building has been constructed under the previous code. Everyone – manufacturers, design teams, contractors, owners and building officials – struggles to keep up with the shifting rules, and in many jurisdictions they don’t even bother to try. Where the energy code is enforced, the code minimums in practice become code maximums – the worst allowable performance for each component is rarely exceeded. Even our “performance-based” compliance paths simply try to match the performance of some theoretical code-minimum building. By focusing our design work on code compliance, a speculative proxy for efficiency, we ignore the actual resulting energy use. Our highest-performing buildings are not the result of checking off a laundry list of requirements. Instead, they result from intense innovation and integration between the design team, owner and contractor, a level of integration not lending itself to prescriptive codes. To transition out of this unproductive cycle, the City of Seattle has enacted a suite of energy code reforms based on empowering building users to manage their own energy use and featuring a “Target Performance Path” that dispenses almost entirely with the technical code. This code focuses instead on the actual performance of the building. By emphasizing outcomes and operations instead of rules, Seattle is enabling private-sector innovation and cooperation. These reforms originated in municipal leadership of a public-private collaboration. Through a partnership with the NTHP’s Preservation Green Lab, a demonstration project providing a flexible energy code alternative for historic buildings paved the way for new policy. This proof-of-concept, experimental approach proved to be a highly effective path to policy innovation. Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development also led a concerted effort to engage the private sector in creation of performance targets and code requirements that focus on a minimum number of requirements, ambitious targets, and verified performance.
Matthew Kahn UCLA Commercial Building Electricity Consumption Dynamics: The Role of Structure Quality, Human Capital, and Contract Incentives Despite the importance of the commercial property sector as a major consumer of electricity, we know very little about the environmental performance of its buildings. Lack of access to good data has limited our knowledge of the core facts – for instance, the most comprehensive source of data, the Department of Energy’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), was last released in 2003; this nationally representative data set offers cross-sectional information on the energy consumption of just 5,000 buildings. By merging the electric utility’s data on monthly electricity consumption at the building level with detailed information on building characteristics, occupants and macro-economic trends, we study commercial building electricity consumption dynamics and the environmental performance of different types of commercial buildings at a point in time. We use the panel data set to test several hypotheses related to how different buildings’ respond to changes in outdoor temperature and macro economic shocks. Given that our data set covers the years during the recent great recession, we investigate what types of buildings are most responsive to spikes in the unemployment rate. We also test how the electricity consumption/temperature gradient differs across buildings. For example, we expect that buildings in which tenants face zero marginal cost pricing will increase consumption more on hot days as compared to buildings with tenants that pay their own bills. By estimating separately the temperature response curves based on building type, vintage, quality and lease structure, we document evidence that supports the “rebound effect” hypothesis (Lorna Greening et al., 2000). Newer, high-quality buildings in which tenants face a zero marginal cost of energy consume relatively more electricity on hotter days. We interpret this as evidence of how technological progress in building quality is partly offset by the ability to more cheaply achieve ambient comfort – for example with thermostats available on each floor rather than a set temperature that is centrally coordinated. Using the cross-section of the data, we first explore whether new vintages of commercial buildings are more energy efficient than observationally similar, older vintages of commercial buildings. Given the long lasting durability of the real estate stock, it is important to measure whether new cohorts of buildings are more efficient. Commercial buildings are differentiated products. Energy efficiency is just one indicator of building quality. Other quality dimensions such as providing good lighting, elevator service, aesthetic appeal and ambient comfort may require using more electricity. We document that, during a time of historically low real commercial electricity prices, newer cohorts of buildings consume more electricity than older cohorts. The second major set of questions we explore focuses on the role that tenant behavior and tenant incentives play in determining a building’s environmental performance. We test whether those commercial buildings featuring renters whose contracts are full service (and thus face a zero marginal cost) consume more electricity. Owners of such buildings should be aware of the incentive effects and they should have a greater incentive to invest in costly building management to increase energy efficiency.
Leslie Lara Alta Planning + Design Spare the Air Youth: Youth Initiatives to Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled Traditional Safe Routes To School (SRTS) programs combine both infrastructure improvements and encouragement programs to address traffic safety issues and encourage active lifestyles, as well as reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and vehicle miles traveled (VMT). In the San Francisco Bay Area, the SRTS program addressed this focus by promoting carpooling through a variety of ride matching websites, carpool lots or parking spaces, and events such as Carpool 2 School Day. Transit encouragement programs include education and awareness-raising, as well as coordination of transit stops and schedules with school bell times. In addition, programs promote walking and bicycling through more traditional education, encouragement, enforcement, and engineering avenues. The Spare the Air Youth program is a regional effort to coordinate SRTS and other efforts to educate and encourage students to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) due to transportation sources. Spare the Air Youth tested the effectiveness of pilot programs in 2011 and 2012, and is implementing a $2 million grant program in 2013 through 2015 to support programs to reduce transportation-related GHGs and vehicle miles traveled. Programs are being evaluated and over 40,000 parent surveys have been collected to evaluate the program’s impacts. This presentation will provide an overview of the Spare the Air Youth program and how it differs from traditional SRTS programs. It will discuss the data-driven evaluation of pilot projects and projects that were selected for funding through the Spare the Air Youth grant program.
Beth Karlin University of California, Irvine Graphical Displays in Eco-Feedback: A Cognitive Approach Psychological research indicates that the provision of feedback is a key element in reinforcing and/or changing behavior, and whilst results from empirical studies on eco-feedback are positive, variation in findings suggests that its effectiveness may depend on both what information is provided and how it is presented. The design of graphical displays is an important component, but past display research has been primarily qualitative and exploratory. This presentation introduces and tests a cognitive model of visual information processing applied to energy feedback to evaluate differences in interpretation and preference between images. Participants were shown images that varied by number of data points as well as display features and were asked to interpret the images and report on image usability. Results suggest that both ease of use and interpretability of displays are linked to the capacity limits of the short-term memory, and to the mechanisms by which the visualization prompts links between short-term memory and existing schemata. In simpler terms, energy feedback displays appear to be more successful when they: (1) contain fewer data points; (2) employ data chunking; and/or (3) include pictures. Implications for design of successful energy feedback will be discussed.
Phillip Kelsven Itron One of These Homes is Not Like the Other: Residential Consumption Variability Households consume energy in many different ways and for many different purposes. The behavior patterns driving American household energy use causes wide variations in total residential energy consumption per home. Data suggests that total energy consumption in similar sized homes, in the same neighborhood, in a typical American city can vary significantly (sometimes by factors of 8 or more!). Building characteristics such as levels of insulation, air leakage, and construction type no doubt play important roles in these differences in energy consumption, but do not explain the large magnitudes of difference. Research has shown that consumer behavior plays an important role in energy consumption variability. Using a large sample of homes, this research isolates and estimates the behavioral element in residential energy consumption. This study relies on research conducted with available data from electric and gas utilities in two different states. The goal was to calculate the variance in energy consumption among groups of homogeneous households. Data sources include utility consumption data, house characteristic data from county tax assessors, and U.S. Census-based demographic data. To perform the analysis, first homes were grouped into segments of similar sizes, vintages, and demographics to create homogenous groups. The variance in total energy and heating energy was then analyzed to learn of the magnitude of the difference among housing segments. Second, the research sought to identify possible demographic and housing stock indicators that cause a greater variation in total observed energy consumption. Third, a methodology for further research at the household level was developed to explain the individual variations in consumption. This research has implications for marketing successful energy efficiency programs. Households who appear remarkably similar often have vastly different reasons for installing energy efficiency measures in their homes. There is no one size fits all approach. Thankfully, enhanced customer engagement strategies are receiving renewed focus among energy efficiency programs nationwide. Further, it will develop guidelines for using the methodology in this paper to conduct marketing research to provide valuable insight on residential customers’ apparent energy efficiency behaviors and related decision making. This information, in turn, will help to make energy efficiency program outreach more effective. Attendees of this session will learn just how much energy consumption can vary among homogeneous housing stocks and demographics, the factors that appear to influence large variations in energy consumption, and inferences on how energy consumption affects program participation. Attendees will benefit from a line of research that is not widely available and a new methodology to study the topic of energy consumption variability. In addition, they will be taught how crafting a different message that resonates with each segment may be a more effective marketing strategy. Finally, attendees will be presented with a methodology to do this type of analysis for their own customer base.
Marda Kirn EcoArts Connections Think LIke an EcoSystem: Cognition + Affect = Effect Research demonstrates that “facts” and logic are not enough to persuade people to live more sustainably. Effective action requires a combination of cognition and affect (or intellect and emotions, facts and feelings) working together rather than separately or alone. Since prehistoric times, the arts have inspired deep engagement, reflection, and discussion thanks to their affective power to attract, involve, stimulate, and motivate people to do things they might not otherwise have the interest, energy, or courage to do. In their affective roles as agents of personal and social change, the arts, informed by science and other fields, can introduce climate and sustainability issues in new ways and move people—emotionally and physically—to act. This presentation offers a blitz tour of images, examples, ideas, and results including ways the arts in the US and abroad have worked in collaboration with other fields to shift beliefs and behaviors, how opinions are formed, and why it is vital in these times that the arts are essential collaborators in making climate change and sustainability personal, visceral, and actionable.
Matt Klosinski Milepost Consulting Competitions for Change: A recipe for energy use reduction and team building As the low hanging fruit of mechanical and design upgrades get picked, asset managers are turning to the operational knowledge and competitiveness of their own people to drive further energy savings in the most cost-effective manner. While there is a plethora of industry information available there is no one-size-fits-all approach, as every firm has unique people, portfolios and structures. Additionally, firms generally have excellent and knowledgeable building operators and engineers, many of whom already utilize energy management best practices. An internal portfolio-wide energy reduction competition is an excellent opportunity to baseline this existing knowledge while building a platform for information-sharing across the firm. Kiemle & Hagood Company, a private firm located in Spokane, WA, utilized a simple and straightforward approach to its internal building competition: all buildings had to have current and accurate data in ENERGY STARÒ Portfolio Manager and over a six month period the building with the largest reduction in Energy Use Intensity would be declared the winner. Additionally, the participants were required to track all energy savings-related activities that would then be shared with the rest of the team. While the energy savings were significant (the winning Kiemle & Hagood building saved ~37% in non-normalized EUI), the real value comes from sustained implementation of the best practices that were devised during the competition period. This presentation will provide an overview of the building competition framework as well as outcomes that were experienced. Highlights include the “building playbook” that is being developed to ensure that the lessons that were learned are duplicated in all current and future buildings. The development of this internally-derived playbook not only encourages participation but also a sense of “ownership” among the building operators, whereby they are part of a team that makes energy conservation a priority in their everyday work activities. To keep the momentum (and learning) going, a plan is currently underway for the next building competition with the purpose of building on the knowledge and experience the team now has.
Kathy Kuntz Cool Choices From Eco-Driving to Thermostats: Behaviors Real People Will Adopt While there is consensus (at least in the BECC community) about the need to motivate individuals to adopt more environmentally sustainable behaviors, there is still a great deal we do not know about the elasticity (or changeability) of specific behaviors. Is it easier to motivate individuals to wash clothes in cold water or to shut off the television when no one is watching it? Are some individuals more likely to adopt sustainable driving behaviors over household behaviors associated with energy or water usage? And if so, which individuals trend in each direction? Are there behaviors that can act as ‘gateway drugs’, leading to other sustainable practices? And, perhaps most importantly, which behaviors offer both substantive savings opportunities and a high likelihood of broad adoption? Via its employee engagement game Cool Choices has collected behavioral data from thousands of individual households. Households participating in our games report—often on a daily basis—their practices, indicating behaviors that preceded the game as well as new behaviors. More, when coupled with baseline survey information, we can see participation trends tied to demographics, attitudes and even social interaction patterns. In this presentation Cool Choices will present a meta-analysis of the data collected from multiple game engagements across a myriad of companies and communities. We will delineate our findings relative to the elasticity of various behaviors, the demographics of households adopting specific behaviors, and the interconnection between some behaviors. Session attendees will be able to use the information presented to strategically target their own initiatives to easily-adopted, high impact behaviors.
Jungsuk Kwac Stanford University Energy Lifestyle Segmentation Using Hourly Electricity Data: Implications for Energy Efficiency and Demand Response Programs The recent wide-spread deployment of smart meters has made available vast amounts of new information about households’ energy consumption lifestyles. Energy lifestyles detected by hourly data are made up of the level of energy use, time of day of use (load shape), differential day use, and the regularity and variability of energy consumption. Deep understanding of households’ energy consumption lifestyles offers significant potential for enhancing targeting and tailoring of demand response (DR) and energy efficiency (EE) programs. Innovative and scalable analytic methods are needed to deconstruct this massive household data into usable and meaningful energy lifestyles. The data used in this paper is hourly energy consumption of 218,090 consumers with 66,434,179 unique profiles from April 2008 to October 2011 in CA Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) territory. We examine households’ “energy consumption lifestyles” via a pre-processed load shape dictionary. To populate a pre-processed load shape dictionary, the current paper uses a deviates from previous studies. We deconstruct the daily usage patterns into daily total usage and a normalized daily load shape. Then, to find an appropriate number of representative load shapes while still guaranteeing that the dictionary of load shapes approximate real load shapes, we apply an adaptive K-means clustering method. Then, we use hierarchical clustering to summarize the dictionary. Based on the pre-processed load shape dictionary, all the raw data is encoded by the closest dictionary shape code, daily consumption sum. From these encoded results, we have a sequence of dictionary shape codes for each household during a certain period. We define “energy consumption lifestyle” as the probability distribution vector of dictionary codes. If we use the load shape dictionary with size K, we can represent a household’s lifestyle as a vector with dimension K. Next, we investigate households’ load shape (e.g. bi-modal, linear, stable and variants), energy consumption stability (or variability) over days of the week, as well as consumption daily levels. We ensure all the steps done in this methodology scales to large data sets. We find that the more “customary” U shaped loads are among the common shapes but are by no means the most common, in fact one of the more common shapes is a flat line shape, a stable use of electricity over the day. A more nuanced understanding of energy lifestyles can inform DR targeting (for example, U shaped loads where activities can be shifted earlier or later maybe better targets for DR than flatter shapes). Stability and level of use will also factor into this targeting formulation. Energy efficiency messaging will also be informed by understanding of lifestyles; for example, always on appliances and light messages may be more appropriate for the flatter shapes whereas family activity shifts may be useful for the U type load shapes. We discuss the additional roles of lifestyle stability and level and EE and DR.
Nick Laurrell S. Groner Associates Setting the Right Social Media Goals Everybody wants their program to be on Facebook because…well because everybody is on Facebook. More and more, people who have run successful programs for decades are being forced to dip their toes into unfamiliar digital territories, particularly when it comes to outreach and communications. This leads to all sorts of problems not the least of which is a failure to understand how to effectively measure and appreciate what it is that social media can functionally do for their program. Even when consultants are employed, what exactly should a successful social media program look like? This presentation is all about understanding and setting the numeric objectives which define true success for social media. We’ll talk about grounding fan and follower numbers in census and total audience data, how to gauge the effectiveness of engagement on your outlets, which outlets to use in general and hard costs associated with each of the major social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram). Attendees should leave the presentation with a fundamental grasp on what success should look like when it comes to social media.
Jim Leahy DNV KEMA Achieving Zero Net Energy through Transformation of Market Actor Behavior Market transformation to support California’s goals for zero net energy buildings and greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2020 requires significant changes to behavior and standard practice of builders, developers, architects and planners. Southern California Edison will present a case study of its Sustainable Communities Program and how it is working with local builders and other market actors to change the way master planned communities and new buildings are envisioned, designed and constructed. Early engagement of key stakeholders is essential to incorporating zero net energy principles at the design phase and the Sustainable Communities Program works to make high-performance building design the new business-as-usual. The Sustainable Communities Program effects behavior change by intervening with market actors associated with master-planned communities, campus, office/industrial parks and individual building projects well before they interact with traditional new construction programs. The goal is to work with builders, architects, planners and developers to transform the way they plan and design a project and push the envelope towards zero net energy design. Services offered through the program include educational and technical assistance related to project planning, siting, building massing, energy efficiency, water efficiency, on-site power generation, commission and maintenance planning. One example of technical services provided to change market actor behavior is the comprehensive building modeling and strategy assessments offered to support, educate and raise awareness of the project stakeholders and teams on the feasibility of zero net energy practices. This comprehensive modeling includes daylighting and natural ventilation assessments to educate the project teams on daylighting and natural ventilation techniques, the benefits to both the developer and the occupants, and the overall feasibility of incorporating such strategies. Southern California Edison will share lessons learned and best practices for utility programs that seek to change the behavior of market actors to support deep efficiency and zero net energy building practices. Our presentation will focus on what works well, what has been challenging and recommendations for future program design related to new construction market actor behavior to support energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions.
Bill LeBlanc E Source Engaging Customers through Smart Meter Portals: It’s Not About the Bar Charts Engaging Customers through Smart Meter Portals: It’s Not About the Bar Charts Nearly 1 in 3 homes now have “smart meters” which can collect data every 5 or 15 minutes instead of the once per month collection we’ve seen for the past 100 years. This data could either 1) be a boon to education and engagement and energy savings, or 2) turn customers off faster than late fees. Utility smart meter portals vary vastly in their user friendliness, as well as their approach to customer engagement with conservation and energy investment programs. In this presentation, we will look at the many different elements that are being used in “best practice” portals designed by third parties, utilities, and NGOs. These elements can include energy use patterns, use by appliance, comparisons over time and year over year, energy savings goal settings, alerts when energy use is high, comparisons with peers, entry into contests and sweepstakes, and even gaming. Visual examples of some of these best features will be shown, along with an analysis of why that feature can be useful for the customer. We will also look at the Green Button applications, which have shown some promise but seem to lack effectiveness to date. Why is this presentation important? Utilities have poured billions of dollars in smart meter investments, with the promise and hope of getting a return by engaging customers at a whole new level, and providing them with information and tools to help them manage their energy bills. But the lack of user-centered design in the portals could cause apathy or even backlash. By understanding these key customer engagement strategies, they can work diligently on the portal designs and connections with features customer really want. In addition, communities and NGOs are also using smart meter data, and need to learn about best practices to engage their own target groups.
Robert Letzler Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission Understanding Tradeoffs in Critical Peak Pricing Rate Design Utilities and state regulators are considering a variety of “critical peak pricing” (CPP) rates. These rates empower consumers to reduce electric demand during extreme weather events, to reduce the cost of operating the electric system and to share in the savings. Extensive consumer behavior research shows that many CPP consumers reduce their peak-period consumption, save money, and report high satisfaction levels. Some CPP rates use one price for 99% of all hours and invoke higher “critical” prices only during extreme scarcity periods. Other CPP rates use not only critical prices, but also high, medium, and low prices every weekday and adjust their schedules seasonally. Real time pricing (RTP), which sets a price each hour, achieves higher pricing accuracy but is often considered too complex for residential and small commercial consumers who lack enabling technology. The typical status quo is a time-invariant rate that sets prices for seasons at a time and announces prices months in advance. CPP asks participating consumers to understand the price periods, notice critical price alerts, and adjust consumption accordingly. Adding price periods increases cognitive demands on consumers but allows CPP to better reflect wholesale costs. This project analyzes how to best use a modest number of differentiated periods and where the benefits of adding more periods begins to diminish. This project seeks to understand tradeoffs between CPP price accuracy and complexity. It aspires to inform policy makers and the public as they discuss how to use the CPP toolkit. We test the fit of a large number of possible rates on 12 years of hourly wholesale price data for specific utilities. Our analysis utilizes data from the 13-state area covered by the PJM regional transmission organization. Additionally, we explore the impact of increasing wind energy penetration on the accuracy of CPP. Preliminary results suggest that normal and critical prices alone can capture 27% of the variation in wholesale prices, that adding a simple summer and non-summer daily peak periods can capture 48% of the variation, and that a rate that adds a preset schedule of high, medium, and low price periods can capture 53% of RTP’s benefits. Under strong assumptions the percentages of variation reported above are exactly the percentage reductions in economic inefficiency (deadweight loss) from inaccurate pricing. We explore interesting inefficiencies by estimating the impact of omitting an appropriately priced daily peak period on the cost of charging plug-in hybrid vehicles and bill savings from customer-owned solar. [This report represents the views of authors. It does not necessarily represent the views of their employers or of any individual FTC Commissioner.]
Kirsten Liske Ecology Action Greening the SMB Workplace California Green Business Program The California Green Business Program (CAGBP) is a legislatively legitimized (AB 913, 2011) voluntary program offered by local government agencies that validates sustainable business activities, establishes a green marketplace, and track and promote measurable economic and environmental outcomes from practices changes implemented by business participants. The program provides free or low cost expert technical assistance in air quality, solid waste, water supply, wastewater, storm water, hazardous waste and materials, and energy. Businesses who achieve a minimum level of compliance and sustainability practices become Certified Green Businesses and receive free marketing. The CAGBP is one of the few governmental environmental assistance programs that also results in economic development and beneficial governmental relations. The program targets a critical and underserved sector, the small to medium sized businesses (SMBs). Long considered “hard to reach” by utilities, SMBs rarely have staff assigned to managing environmental performance and typically have a lack of expertise, time, and funding to implement important conservation practices. There are an estimated 3 million SMBs operating in California. The program design is grounded in the science of behavior change (Community-Based Social Marketing, MacKenzie-Mohr and Smith, 1999). The program: 1. Increases the level of awareness about the issue. (Advertising, earned media, industry-specific BMP checklists, outreach, 1:1 assistance) 2. Identifies the barriers and benefits to both the current behaviors and the desired behaviors. (Cost, misinformation, regulations, lack of incentives) 3. Influences the barriers and benefits such that the desired behavior is the preferred choice. (Financing/rebates, 1:1 assistance, on-site audits, creation of market incentives) 4. Gaining commitment to change behaviors. (Promotion of GBs and CAGBP logo, written commitment from management, re-certification after three years) Launched in 1996, the program is now in 21 California jurisdictions representing almost 40% of the state. More than 2,700 SMBs are certified statewide. The program is now entirely managed via a centralized statewide database ( Nineteen industry-specific performance checklists are utilized including offices, restaurants, hotels, schools, medical facilities, offices, property management, construction, and auto repair. The database automatically assigns peer-reviewed metric outcome factors to some of the practice changes documented by the business during the certification process. The business then receives an Environmental Scorecard documenting their results that they can use for marketing. The program can then track its impact at the jurisdiction program level or overall. Some of the statewide 2012 outcomes for 2,664 certified business are as follows: GHG Emissions Reduction (Tons) 343,353,462 Energy Saved (kWh) 38,254,747 Solid Waste Diverted from Landfill 212,616,001 Water Saved (Gallons) 30,362,771 Haz Waste Reduced (Gallons) 6,245
Dan Lockton Royal College of Art, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design SusLabNWE: Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Data to Understand People’s Everyday Energy Behavior SusLab UK is a project investigating people’s everyday energy use behavior, through in-home studies and the use of a ‘living lab’ instrumented house, using a design research approach. We are integrating qualitative ethnographic studies with quantitative energy monitoring and sensor data, to explore the details of people’s interactions with everyday systems, informing the prototyping of redesigned products to reduce energy use. These will be tested in the living lab instrumented house, assessing participants’ interactions with the new systems and the impact on energy use, before deployment for longer trials in people’s homes. Background SusLab UK is part of a European project combining energy monitoring with ethnographic design research, to understand the nuances of householders’ energy behavior. Reducing domestic energy use involves behavior change alongside infrastructure improvements. However, many approaches focus on ‘demand’ as something that can be managed primarily through pricing changes (via bills or smart meters), rather than investigating why people use energy in the ways they do in domestic contexts. People don’t set out to ‘use energy’: its use is a side effect of solving everyday problems, meeting needs for comfort, light, cooking, cleaning, entertainment, and so on. Differences in use are often due to design: for example, Combe et al (2011) found 66% of occupants of an award-winning ‘low energy’ housing development could not program their heating controls due to interface complexities. Aside from social and environmental benefits, there are commercial design opportunities arising from better understanding people’s interactions with systems, and developing new products and services taking account of these insights (Lockton, 2013). Some early market entrants (e.g. Nest) are already focusing on a design- and user experience-led approach. Methods Our methods are drawn from design research—such as user re-enactment, where we ask householders, at home, to walk through their behavior at a particular time of day (e.g. morning routine), describing actions in the context (e.g. kitchen) where they take place, and with the products and services used. Integrating participants’ own home energy data allows focusing on specific actions—asking about unusual data patterns, or questioning recollections. We map householders’ actions on a timeline alongside tagged photographs, overlaid with energy data collected in the same timeframe, producing relational maps allowing triangulation of insights. The paper By November, we will be ready to present results of our in-home studies and the first prototype products, likely to focus on home heating (a major concern in the UK). Our presentation will provide more details of our methodology, and how integrating qualitative and quantitative data have worked in practice. We believe this approach to understanding everyday behavior—placing design research methods into otherwise quantitative research contexts—is valuable to design work on energy use behavior change. References Combe, N., Harrison, D., Way, C. (2011). ‘Modeling the impact of user behavior on heat energy consumption’. Proceedings of BECC 2011, Washington, DC, Lockton, D. (2013). ‘Design for sustainability: making green behavior easy’. Guardian Sustainable Business, March 20, 2013,
Marta Lopes INESC Coimbra, IPC-ESAC Designing behaviour change interventions towards the transition to smart(er) grids. A Portuguese case study Energy behaviours are increasingly being recognised as a key variable to foster higher levels of energy efficiency during the transition to smart(er) grids. Several challenges are emerging in this process. Worldwide experiences demonstrate that energy behaviours change in face of dynamic pricing but this change is limited and conditioned by additional factors such as improved feedback, involvement in demand response programmes or the deployment of enabling technologies. However, energy behaviours are complex, shaped not only by individual but also by contextual factors. Energy behaviour change strategies must consider these dimensions and be adequately designed to attain enduring efficient energy behaviours and fully enable the smart(er) grids potential. Nowadays, in Portugal, the transition to a smart(er) grid, in the context of a competitive electricity retail market, is only now becoming visible to the average consumer. The most evident change is the liberalisation of the electricity market: until recently having a single regulated supplier, domestic consumers are now obliged to enter the market and choose an alternative supplier. Furthermore, several programs are being implemented by utilities using smart meters and energy management systems, ranging from simple consumption feedback devices to programmable systems endowed with actuation on loads, and assessing users’ receptiveness to demand response actions. This paper aims at presenting the results of energy behaviours change experiments implemented in the residential sector in Portugal to identify relevant factors during this transition process to a smart(er) grid. Users’ profiles are determined considering the household characteristics, behavioural variables, preferences relative to feedback and demand control (e.g., appliances’ time of use, utility control), use of enabling technologies such as automated controls, use of renewable energy sources and electric vehicles. Results are compared with other settings where smart(er) grids are already in a more advanced implementation phase. The impacts of the Eurozone economic crisis in energy behaviours are also assessed.
Kevin Luten Behavior Design Works The Social Ground Game: Moving Beyond Marketing and the Individual US Presidential election campaigns offer a valuable structural framework for understanding large-scale, voluntary behaviour change. Recent books such as Sasha Issenberg’s The Victory Lab establish a clear demarcation between (1) marketing / advertising led approaches and (2) person-to-person techniques often referred to as the ‘ground game’ of campaigning. The focus on deploying a robust ground game operation has emerged out of recognition that this approach is more effective in facilitating relatively complex behaviors (eg, actually going to vote on election day) – whereas marketing approaches are more suited to changing voter attitudes. If the intent of sustainability-oriented behavior change programs is to actually change behavior, rather than simply changing attitudes or increasing awareness, then the principles of deploying a robust ground game should be highly relevant. Such a ground game approach would rely centrally on person-to-person dialogue and enhanced consideration of real-world social networks and behavioral contagion. The intent of this presentation will be to offer an outline of the above construct, supported directly with examples from two large-scale, community-based behavior change interventions that Behavior Design Works has led in Western Australia over the past two years: ActiveSmart Geraldton: Behavior Design Works delivered the ActiveSmart program to 4,000 households in the City of Greater Geraldton. Developed in conjunction with the WA Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR), the aim of the project was to use robust behavior design to facilitate increases in physical activity and enhance social inclusion through on-going phone-based coaching. Following the intervention, independent program evaluation found participants increased physical activity by 15 minutes per day. The state government calculated a benefit-cost ratio for the program between 24:1 and 36:1. Your Move Cockburn. Sponsored by DSR and the WA Department of Transport, this project is an exciting evolution of ActiveSmart model. Scheduled for delivery from June 2013 – June 2014 with over 12,000 households, the project will feature an integrated approach to behaviour change combining physical activity and sustainable transportation objectives. The behaviour change methodology will feature significant use of person-to-person dialogue in a wide variety of settings, as well as the innovate utilization of social network targeting to seed behavioral contagion. By the BECC Conference in November, this program will be approximately 40% complete, with major lessons learned well in place regarding delivery methodologies. Behavior Design Works has helped design and deliver four large-scale, community-based behavior change interventions in Australia. As the project manager for all of these projects, Kevin Luten is able to present and field questions on both the behavior design and the delivery logistics sides of the project.
Loren Lutzenhiser Portland State University The ‘Market for Behavior Change’ in California Households California has one of the most progressive energy efficiency and climate change policy environments in the United States. An array of California efficiency programs focuses on a diversity of demand-side sectors, including commercial, industrial and residential energy uses and energy users. Recently, residential programs in California have been mandated to specifically target consumer behavior change, in addition to more established efforts to upgrade the physical energy efficiency of homes, appliances, lighting, and other devices. So program experiments and discussions about how to accomplish behavior change are just beginning. How much savings are available? What’s realistic to expect? From whom? Over what time frame? With what persistence? The short answer is that we don’t have good answers to these questions, and have barely started to address them. In the past, efficiency program planners have drawn upon ‘technology potential’ and/or ‘market characterization’ studies to estimate possible energy savings available from various hardware and building upgrades. But only rarely have the behaviors involved in technology adoption been considered in those types of studies, and in just a handful of cases have the potentials for savings from direct behavior change been estimated. This is hardly surprising, since consumer behavior has traditionally been treated as random and/or unknowable in efficiency policy and program planning. However, this is necessarily changing as climate goals mandate new consumer actions and choices. And, in fact, since 2011, California potential studies have begun to include some estimates of residential behavior savings, separating ‘usage behaviors’ from ‘equipment-purchase behaviors,’ but acknowledging that evidence is uncertain and the granularity of data is low. We report the results of our own behavioral market assessment in the spirit of market studies that are routinely performed for lighting, appliances, or industrial and commercial technologies. But because energy-use behaviors are much more variable and difficult to observe than equipment acquisition, this is not a spreadsheet operation. It requires assembling many different types of data and different perspectives: drawing on the patterns of energy use variability (e.g., 75% of California’s residential energy consumption takes place in the highest-consuming 25% of houses), demographic variability, building energy simulation, technology characterization, and results from our own deep-dive interviews and innovative surveys in which we talk to people about their energy use practices, patterns and choices. And it requires attention to the nature and degree of uncertainty, without which interpretations of convenience may prevail. We report our methods, data and findings related to types of behavior, types of consumers, and types of behavior change imaginable. We estimate the energy savings potentials and greenhouse gas reduction potentials. However, this ‘mapping’ of the ‘market for behavior change’ in the over 12 million California households is pioneering work. So, in addition, an important part of the story also has to do with uncertainty, problems with data access and data quality, continuing limitations in both efficiency industry and social scientific lenses used to understand behavior, behavioral interventions and behavior change potentials. Results will be useful to a wide assortment of policy-makers, program designers, implementers, and evaluators.
Brooks Winner Island Institute Energy for ME – Student-driven behavior change with real-time energy data Energy for ME – Student-driven behavior change with real-time energy data Energy for ME is an energy education program of the Island Institute, involving ten island and coastal communities. Students in grades 6-12 – and their families – are learning how to better understand their communities’ energy-consumption habits, as well as how to develop effective strategies to increase energy efficiency. The program teaches students STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills and promotes energy conservation in schools and communities using real-time energy data, competitions, and student-driven behavior change initiatives. Real-time energy data Energy for ME gives students access to high-resolution, real-time electricity use data through the eMonitor, a new technology that provides minute-by-minute-, circuit by circuit interval data for residential (single-phase) and commercial (three-phase) buildings. Students use this data to analyze energy use patterns in schools, community buildings, and homes and recommend practical steps for reducing energy use and saving money. As the program grows and develops, Energy for ME will also integrate GreenButton and other smart meter data to expand access to energy use data throughout our communities. Energy Competitions The program also leverages the competitive spirit of our schools through month-long energy competitions that challenge students, teachers and facility managers to find creative ways to encourage behavior changes. These competitions have resulted in thousands of dollars in energy savings and up to 58% reduction in energy use compared to baseline data. Student-driven initiatives Energy for ME recognizes the power of students to serve as agents for change in their schools and communities. By empowering students to understand and analyze energy consumption habits and connecting them with the tools and resources necessary to encourage behavior change, the program is promoting significant energy use reductions and establishing “cultures of conservation” throughout our participating communities. Behavior Change and Energy Education in Rural Communities Energy for ME works with schools in some of the most remote areas of Maine. Our 10 schools are all in rural areas, three of them are located in un-bridged, year-round island communities, three of them are located in Washington County, the easternmost county in the United States and one of the most rural areas in the state of Maine. These “hard to reach” communities benefit from the resources that Energy for ME provides, including energy tools, curriculum development, and funding for small-scale energy efficiency upgrades, as well as from collaboration with the other similar communities participating in the program with them. The Energy for ME team will present its findings from the first two years of the program including best practices in behavior change and energy education; projects, results, and energy savings from Energy for ME schools; lessons learned from the four community energy competitions; and plans for the third year of the program which will feature student-led, community-based energy behavior change initiatives.
Sunil Maheshwari PPL Electric Utilities How Likely Are You to Participate in a Utility Sponsored Energy Efficiency Program? Wouldn’t it be great if a Utility already knew in advance who is likely going to participate in their energy efficiency program offerings? Having this knowledge would allow the Utility to market its programs more effectively and save a bundle on advertising costs. PPL Electric Utilities (“PPL”) serves electricity to approximately 1.2 million residential customers in central and eastern Pennsylvania. Also, PPL offers a range of energy efficiency programs to these customers under Act 129 of 2008. PPL’s Marketing Research Group houses a Segmentation database that has information on income levels, household size, annual electric usage, billing address, etc. for all of PPL’s residential customers. Additionally, this database has fields to indicate if a customer has participated in an Act 129 program or not. The focus of this research study is to answer the following key questions: 1. What are Act 129 participation trends by income, annual usage, age of the head of household, household size and region? Are there any systematic differences between Act 129 participants and Act 129 non-participants by these socio-economic characteristics? 2. How is the likelihood of participation in Act 129 affected by customers’ characteristics such as income, household size, age, homeownership status (rent vs. own), etc.? The authors of this study propose creation of a Logit Model to answer Question #2 above. This model will estimate the likelihood (probability) of participation in Act 129 for each of PPL’s residential customers. Key findings from this study will be shared with PPL’s Act 129 Programs Delivery staff to improve upon the current customer outreach and advertising efforts. Also, the authors will explore if this modeling approach can be extended to other areas of PPL’s core functions such as likelihood of participation in retail electric shopping and likelihood of registering customers for budget billing who are typically late on paying their electric bills.
John Maiorano University of Toronto Barriers to Energy Efficiency & Revolving Funds at Canadian Public Institutions Energy efficiency projects in large buildings have been shown to significantly reduce green house gas emissions and energy use, promote environmental protection, improve public health, and offer opportunities for large cost savings and economic sustainability. A revolving loan fund, used to fund energy efficiency projects whereby savings generated through reduced operating costs are tracked and used to repay the fund, permits continual investment in energy efficiency projects from a single lump sum over a long period of time. Despite their benefits and precedents of success, this financing mechanism is not widely used in Canada. Our study investigated behavioural barriers to the implementation of energy efficiency projects in both Canadian universities and Ontario hospitals, including: access to capital, bounded rationality, hidden costs, imperfect information and split incentives, along with the efficacy of revolving funds to confront these barriers. Findings were based on surveys of senior university administrators of fifteen Canadian universities of varying sizes and fourteen senior administrators at Ontario hospitals, using both quantitative and qualitative research methods, While “Access to Capital” was identified as the most important barrier to energy efficiency at both universities and hospitals, other factors conspire to prevent the initiation of green revolving funds, which would address this barrier. Lack of Time/Other priorities was an important consideration at hospitals, while at universities, the reluctance to formalize energy policy and to share decision-making over projects are highly influential. The culture of both institutions prioritizes other activities and the dedication of funds to the institutions’ primary mission, and current administrative structures partition energy projects in departments that are segregated from others serving the primary mission, and where technical staff are less used to shared multi-constituent decisions. Extreme risk aversion also plays a part in discouraging effective energy efficiency projects. Behaviour of key energy decision-makers in these institutions, affected by stringent balanced budget requirements, result in financial choices that are excessively cautious, leading to considerable opportunity costs. Various recommendations have been developed to speed adoption of energy efficiency projects and, in particular, to advance the establishment of local green revolving funds.
Katie Mandes Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Engaging Schools on Energy and Climate: Lessons from the Make an Impact Program How can the public, private and NGO sectors join together to break down barriers to individual and community participation in reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions? The presentation will draw lessons from the Make an Impact partnership between the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and leading companies to explore answers to this question. Through the use of an innovative online pledge list and carbon calculator and community initiatives across the country, the Make an Impact program has engaged more than 300,000 people and produced commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 67 million pounds of carbon dioxide. All too often, climate and energy challenges are framed in terms that make it difficult for individuals to feel they have the ability to make a difference. Make an Impact has addressed this barrier to broader participation in the transition to an energy-efficient and low-carbon economy by adopting three strategies aimed at triggering behavior change among targeted groups: 1. Using easily accessible web-based tools that allow people to calculate their carbon footprint and identify what they can do to begin saving energy and money. The Make an Impact website (as well as companion sites for the initiative’s partner companies) includes the online carbon calculator and a popular 10-item “pledge list” of actions people can take to reduce energy use and emissions. 2. Reaching people where they are through targeted outreach and engagement campaigns that capitalize on existing affiliations and interests. Make an Impact leverages the strong connection between Americans and their local schools through the Change Our 2morrow (CO2) Schools’ Challenge, a partnership with C2ES corporate partner Alcoa. In 2013, students in 7 participating schools mobilized their communities to reduce energy consumption. During the month-long challenge, more than 10,000 individuals from the participating communities used Make an Impact’s online tools and pledged to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions this year by more than 21 million pounds. Similarly, an early 2013 campaign linked to the Super Bowl enlisted football fans to commit to actions that will result in more than 44 million pounds of avoided greenhouse gases this year. 3. Using competitions as a trigger for behavior change. During the CO2 Schools’ Challenge, middle schools in various communities compete to get the most people to complete the online pledge list, with the winning school receiving a grant from Alcoa Foundation. Similarly, the Super Bowl effort, under the heading “Geaux Green” and launched in partnership with C2ES partner Entergy, mobilized football fans to take action on behalf of their favorite NFL team. Make an Impact tallied fan pledges by team and the team with the most pledges was announced at the end of the competition. In addition, fans completing their pledges became eligible to win an expenses-paid trip to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. During the presentation, Make an Impact Program Director Katie Mandes will review the program’s use of these three strategies and highlight lessons learned for other communications and outreach efforts on these issues.
Ankur Mani Massuchusetts Institute of Technology Fostering Peer Interaction to Save Energy Energy consumption is an activity that produces negative externalities affecting the whole society, such as pollution and increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Traditional institutional solutions, namely quotas and taxation or subsidies (Pigouvian Mechanisms), discount the fact that individuals are embedded in a context of valuable social relationships. Recent studies have shown that policies involving so- cial influence can provide better outcomes than traditional institutional solutions [1]. Experiments showed that adding a descriptive normative message to energy bills, detailing average neighborhood usage, can lead to energy savings [1]. Promotion of social norms, however, also led to a boomerang effect, causing energy savers to increase their consumption. This could be eliminated, however, by pro- viding an injunctive message conveying social approval to energy savers. Our aim is to move beyond the promotion social norms, and to utilize the power of peer pressure [2] in social networks, beyond the implicit pressure induced by sharing information, to regulate consumption. This requires studying energy consumption in the context of direct peer interaction among people who share real social relationships. In [3] we presented a joint model of peer-pressure an externalities and introduced social mechanisms that promote reduction in externalities, indirectly through peer-pressure. We presented theoretical results about the benefits of social mechanisms over Pigouvian Mechanisms. In this paper, we discuss our 25-week long experiment in Zurich targetting 56,500 customers of an energy company. The launch was communicated in the press and on public events. The registration and participation was voluntarily, and came at no cost to participants. Participants were rewarded for providing information, such as meter readings and filling surveys. In addition, a user can invite up to 5 “buddies” to form a team. Each user gets 5 points for each buddy who manages to reduce his/her energy consumption, by any amount, compared to the previous week. The figure shows the average weekly consumption throughout the experiment. People who were in “buddy” groups made significant energy saving compared to the average. The reduction in energy consumption in the buddy groups was larger than the reduction reported in earlier experiments. We investigate the underlying dynamics of peer interactions that led to this improvement. We also study if peer pressure promotes reciprocity, since one person’s energy conservation benefits others, who would then be expected to reciprocate by reducing their energy consumption [4]. Acknowledgements: We acknowledge help from Tobias Graml and Jonathan Chambers with the implementation and running the experiments. The first author thanks Martin Family Fellowship for Sustainability for support. References: [1] P Wesley Schultz, Jessica M Nolan, Robert B Cialdini, Noah J Goldstein, and Vladas Griskevicius. The constructive, destructive, and reconstructive power of social norms. Psychological Science, 18(5):429–434, 2007. [2] A.Calvo ́-Armengol and M.O.Jackson. “Peer pressure”. Journal of the European Economic Association,8(1):62–89,2010. [3] A.Mani, I.Rahwan, and A.Pentland. “Inducing Peer Pressure to Promote Cooperation.” forthcoming in Nature Scientific Reports, 2013. [4] Ernst Fehr,Urs Fischbacher, and Simon Gachter. “Strong reciprocity, human cooperation, and the enforcement of social norms.” Human nature,13(1):1–25,2002.
Paul Markowitz Vermont Energy Investment Corporation Vermont Home Energy Challenge In 2013, Efficiency Vermont launched a year-long “home energy challenge” to increase the number of homes completing comprehensive energy efficiency improvements. The Vermont Home Energy Challenge uses community-level motivation—each town has a target of weatherizing 3% of the homes in their community—to spur participation. Towns are able to measure their progress toward this goal against that of other communities in their region and across the state. At the end of the year, towns and regions will be awarded prizes for the effectiveness of their efforts. The Vermont Home Energy Challenge helps support the State’s legislated building energy goals of 25% in energy savings in 80,000 homes by the year 2020. Of Vermont’s 247 towns, 77 have signed up for the Challenge from all corners of the state. Efficiency Vermont (the statewide energy efficiency utility) and its partners have designed ready-to-use approaches that local communities can implement to encourage homeowners to complete comprehensive efficiency improvements in their homes. The primary approaches are: home energy visits, door-to-door community outreach, home energy saving workshops, home energy parties, and school-community partnerships. The Challenge integrates behavioral change tools to encourage residents and participating energy committees to take action. These behavioral change tools are: pledge cards for homeowners (commitment), lawn signs for completed projects (social norming), prizes for the winning towns (incentives), feedback (web-based dashboard), and goal setting (3% target of completed projects). Several factors have contributed to the Challenge’s success to date. First, Efficiency Vermont is partnering with the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network—volunteer town energy committees and coordinators who work at the local level to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. Second, Vermont has a network of more than 80 private contractors who are participating in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program managed by Efficiency Vermont. Third, Efficiency Vermont provides a broad range of support for local energy groups, including training, guidance documents, educational materials, and a web-based dashboard. Efficiency Vermont anticipates the Challenge will account for a 50% increase in homes completing comprehensive energy efficiency improvements. This paper will report nine months of results—reflecting activity throughout Vermont’s home improvement season. For more details about the Challenge, see:
David Byrne Department of Economics Tell Me Something I Don’t Already Know: Consumer (Un)Informedness and The Impact of Smart Meters on Residential Energy Consumption If information is costly to acquire and the benefits from obtaining such information are uncertain, customers may optimally maintain imperfect knowledge. For example, households are typically provided with infrequent and aggregated consumption information about their electricity consumption without context; acquiring further details on day-to-day consumption or how to reduce usage is costly. Reducing the cost of acquiring information may therefore influence peoples’ energy usage patterns. This intuition is a primary motive behind recent interventions that aim to promote conservation in retail electricity markets by making information on energy usage more readily available to consumers. These have been of particular interest to policymakers because information-based approaches to reducing energy usage are considerably less sensitive politically than price-based policies. There is reason, however, to be skeptical about the effectiveness of these non-price approaches to conservation. They may not sufficiently reduce consumers’ cost of acquiring and processing information to figure out how to reduce their energy usage. Moreover, if consumers who are generally more informed about their energy usage are the ones who primarily take advantage of new information, then the impact of these interventions may be relatively muted. In this paper, we examine how household energy consumption changes when information on own and peer household consumption is made more easily accessible. We study the extent to which information received by consumers is consistent with their prior expectations and how the impact of providing information on energy usage differs depending on how (un)informed people were about their relative usage prior to receiving the information. For the study, we conducted a large-scale randomized control trial (RCT) with an electricity retailer in the Australian state of Victoria. The RCT exploits the fact that households in the state exogenously received a smart meter as part of a mandatory state-wide rollout of the new technology. With the smart meters in place, we randomly provided households with access to a web-portal that visualizes 30-minute smart meter interval data to make it easy for consumers to use and manage their energy consumption. We further collected detailed web-usage data that allows us to monitor the intensity with which a household accesses this information, if they do at all. Prior to providing consumers with the web-portal, we also surveyed them to obtain information on their priors regarding their energy usage relative to households of similar size. With the experimental data we first quantify the impact that offering access to the information via the web-portal has on average energy consumption. We find on average that daily energy consumption drops by 2 to 4 % across all households. We also estimate the impact that the new information has on households who actively use the web portal. We find these households reduce their daily energy consumption by 7 to 9 %. We then use the survey data to measure the extent to which households that are well-informed of their relative energy usage differ from uninformed households in their uptake of and response to the information from the web-portal.
Yoky Matsuoka Nest Labs Nest Learning Thermostat’s Summer 2013 Trial Results The Nest Learning Thermostat launched in October 2011 to solve a problem that has eluded homeowners since HVAC systems were first introduced: how to easily and efficiently manage the device responsible for controlling about half of the home’s energy – on average, more than $1,000 a year per U.S. household. Since then, Nest has been adopted broadly throughout the U.S. and Canada. Because the Nest thermostat is a connected device, Nest is able to collect a range of data, including lifestyle patterns, temperature preferences, and the thermal profile of homes – all used to fine-tune features that keep people comfortable when they are home and save energy when they are away. For example, Auto-Away is a feature that senses when there is no occupancy in home so Nest can automatically turn the temperature to a user-specified Away temperature. Through data, we learned that 91% of Nest Learning Thermostats are placed well enough for Auto-Away feature to be enabled. And 74% of devices go into Auto-Away at least once a week. Another behavioral encouragement feature is the Nest Leaf. The Leaf shows up on the thermostat screen or mobile app when a user sets the thermostat to an energy-efficient temperature (this is not an absolute temperature but one that is relative to the user’s comfort level). Energy-saving habits and schedules are developed through this feature. We found that 60% of Nest owners use the Leaf to guide their temperature selection and 92% check the Leaf at least once a week. Through data analysis, we learned that different features benefit different families. For example, Tina and Joe in Phoenix Arizona are home a lot. Before they had Nest, they cooled to 73F in summer. Over time, Nest learned a comfortable schedule for them: 7am 74F, 9am 76F, 3pm 74F, 9pm 73F. Away temp 79F. While their schedule is not the typical energy-saving schedule one may expect, they saved 10% from their new schedule developed by Auto-Schedule, 6% from Auto-Away, and 9% from Airwave, a feature that engages extra fan duration to save energy during each AC cycle. After over a year of data collection, Nest designed and released several new features in summer 2013 that are certain to change the way people use energy in the residential space. The presentation will focus on new data not published anywhere from summer 2013 field data.
Mersiha McClaren Research Into Action What is Needed to Build an Expanded Toolbox for Behavior Change For nearly three decades, utilities have tried to encourage customers to invest in insulation, efficient lights, or other energy-efficient building improvements by offering rebates, conducting educational campaigns, and providing technical assistance. Although these approaches are effective, they can also be expensive. So, it is no surprise that utilities are looking to expand the range of behavior change interventions in their portfolios and are testing various approaches toward influencing decision-making around energy use. Given the demand for this type of research, the authors conducted two research studies that explored strategic opportunities in the area of behavior research and program interventions for a program administrator in the Northeast. In the first study, the authors established a process for determining what interventions offer the most promise for integration into current programs and what steps should be taken to facilitate that integration. In the second study, the authors applied that process to a program that targets the multifamily sector. The core activity was to take a list of types of energy efficiency behaviors promoted by the program and connect the behaviors with the intervention strategies known to have had an effect on the behavior. The authors then assessed the adjustments needed to integrate the promising behavior change strategies into the program and made those recommendations to the program staff. This paper will discuss the findings from the second study to help expand knowledge on how to integrate promising intervention strategies into program design and implementation. By detailing the process of how this was done, the authors bring insight, lessons learned, and new ideas to the discussion of how we can identify and evaluate energy savings potential of various behavior change interventions, and thus affect behavior change in a more systematic way.
Megan McMichael University College London (UCL Energy Institute) Social Networks and Household Energy Efficiency Though energy policy focuses on reducing energy from the nation as a whole, there is a growing focus on the role of communities in achieving energy reductions. This paper presents the findings from mixed methods research in three case study communities in the United Kingdom where smart meter and other energy efficiency interventions were deployed by an energy company at a local level. The interventions were supported and disseminated primarily through small groups of people from each community, here called intermediaries. Social networks were examined in order to understand if community members were seeking information from people, including the intermediaries, within their own community and if those people were strong ties (e.g. friends) or weak ties (e.g. acquaintances). The literature indicates that it is often sociometric networks, rather than spatial networks, that are useful in diffusing information on energy-reducing innovations. It also indicates that there is a ‘strength of weak ties’ effect in information diffusion due to redundancy of information within a close network, forcing people to look beyond their immediate circle of friends to find ‘new’ information. However, there are also suggestions that information or advice from strong ties may be more influential. Findings from the case studies indicated that there were significant relationships between information-seeking and adoption of innovations, but that these varied depending on the innovation and the community. Qualitative evidence indicated that community members tended to trust advice received from local intermediaries. Up to half of respondents sought information from within their own community, though it varied dramatically between communities and was not significantly related to adoption of energy-reducing innovations. The difference in findings between communities could have been due to whether or not the energy efficiency community groups were well established prior to the interventions. Findings also indicate that some communities preferred to seek information from weak ties, while others had clear preferences for strong ties. A short survey instrument, called the energy efficiency resource generator, was developed and could be used to identify the ways in which social networks might be used within a community for information-seeking purposes. Overall, the results indicate that while organisational and media promotion of energy efficiency can be useful in meeting national energy goals, it could be enhanced through mobilisation of existing community social networks. The variability between communities means that targeted interventions need to be tailored to individual British villages and towns.
Lisa McNeilly University of California, Berkeley Quantifying Behavior Change: The myPower Project UC Berkeley’s myPower campaign envisions a future where all campus stakeholders take action to save energy. The initiative combines campus commitment, coordination with a larger energy effort, communications strategies based on the latest research, and expert design to achieve this vision. This presentation will describe the various components and goals of the project, and the multiple ways that the project has been able to quantify its impacts and benefits. myPower is a multi-media campaign to support broad campus efforts to permanently reduce energy use. It empowers faculty, staff, and students to take smart, simple energy savings measures that will reduce our footprint and save the campus money ─ returning those funds to teaching and research. Individual behavior is a key component of our efforts to reduce energy usage. Our success is related to how well we convince people to modify their behavior, make incremental change, and save energy. myPower is part of UC Berkeley’s innovative Energy Management Initiative (EMI), which also includes a new Energy Office, an Energy Incentive Program, and a campus energy policy. The campaign employs a host of today’s best communications strategies, including customized energy surveys, targeted messaging and tips, volunteer Power Agents, and an extensive array of energy dashboards. The backbone of these efforts were the result of preplanning, stakeholder input, an on-going implementation team, and purposeful integration of communication into the larger EMI. This framework allows us to remain agile and incorporate new information and strategies as the campaign matures and continues. One key way to assess the engagement of our stakeholders is to measure how many are using our websites and how frequently they are viewing the dashboards. We are also measuring actual energy savings associated with the campaign and have case studies that highlight how the myPower program complements existing work to reduce energy use, and exemplify how our campaign is received. Data will also be presented from energy surveys, savings from use of posters and stickers as reminders and as attention getters, and a traffic survey of building monitors showing real-time energy use. One key message will be that scale matters. myPower is a targeted effort, designed for UC Berkeley audiences and for our circumstances. And on a large, decentralized campus, with many competing messages bombarding stakeholders, myPower needed sufficient resources and backing from campus leadership in order to be an effective change management campaign. The effectiveness of the program was enhanced by the grassroots involvement of faculty, staff, and students through surveys and Power Agents. Such a comprehensive program allows myPower to be a one-stop shop for energy questions.
Alan Meier LBNL How Clever is That Thermostat? How Clever is That Thermostat? Providers of “Networked Thermostats” claim that they can save more energy than simple, programmable, thermostats by taking into account additional information and applying clever algorithms to adjust the temperature setpoints. For example, they can employ occupancy sensors, learn the occupants’ schedules, customize the setback or warm-up times to the house’s HVAC system and insulation, and take into account outside temperatures. But how does one assess the effectiveness of these services and their energy savings? Is one provider’s thermostat and web services more effective than another provider’s? Do these features complement pre-existing energy-saving behaviors? We developed a metric for assessing the effectiveness of a networked thermostat. The metric, “savings degree-hours”, reflects the extent to which a networked thermostat is able to keep the setpoint below a reference temperature in the winter and above a reference temperature in the summer. This metric is technically feasible because Providers of networked thermostats collect set-point information from every customer, sometimes at intervals of less than 5 minutes. A high winter savings degree-hours indicates that the Provider has a good collection of techniques to keep the set-point very low, which translates into reduced heating energy use. If the Provider applies an overly aggressive schedule of setbacks, the occupants will disable external control, which leads to greatly reduced savings degree-hours. The Energy Star program is considering adoption of the savings degree-hours approach to specify the effectiveness of networked thermostats. The virtues of this type of specification include easy evaluation and verification. But records of lower temperature setpoints are not conclusive evidence of energy savings because they are still one step removed from lower energy use; however, there is a clear physical link from one to the other. Furthermore, large samples of homes—tens of thousands—can be easily examined, which further reinforces the confidence in the effectiveness and savings. The effectiveness of other “intelligent” products to save energy or alter behavior, such as home energy displays and management systems, might also be evaluated with variants of the savings degree-hour approach.
Tom Mercer Opower Peak Time Reduction at Scale: Motivating Behavior Change in Opt-Out Programs In utilities’ business cases for smart meter rollouts, one of the key value propositions beyond operational benefits is almost always behavioral load shifting and demand response using price signals to drive behavior change. While a number of utilities have rolled out dynamic pricing pilots and small scale programs, few have tested how it would work at scale. In 2013, Baltimore Gas & Electric is partnering with Opower to roll out the largest Peak Time Rebates program to date. In addition to ambitious peak reduction targets, this program also seeks to increase awareness and understanding of the consumer benefits of peak time energy use reduction. Our jointly designed program makes use of a layered, multi-channel engagement strategy with both trigger-based and regularly scheduled communications, all of which employ tested behavioral science techniques to boost awareness and motivation of customers on the program. We present the comprehensive results from this summer’s program, including: 1.) energy savings rate and variation throughout the summer; 2.) the comparative success of different behavioral science techniques and treatments in driving these savings, and; 3) complementary qualitative customer survey and interview results documenting awareness, comprehension, and motivation levels of customers over the course of the season. We will conclude with a discussion of what these program results may mean for other utilities who seek to reduce peak energy usage.
Russell Meyer Carnegie Mellon University Smart Rebates: Targeting High-Value Energy Efficiency Improvements with Smart-Meter Data This study makes use of a smart-meter dataset from a sample of the PG&E service territory over a three-year period to identify households with the potential to make the greatest contribution to peak demand reduction through efficiency improvements. The data enable new insight to the characteristics of the households who participate in efficiency rebate programs, both from a demographic perspective as well as from an energy demand profile perspective. This allows the utility to engage with customers more effectively by targeting informational materials and other energy efficiency programs to those customers who are both mostly likely to participate in a rebate program and who have valuable demand that can likely be reduced. In so doing, the utility can minimize the costs of programmatic activities that are not directly delivering demand reduction.
Steven Meyers EnerPath Using ‘Big Data’ to Achieve Both Broad and Deep Savings in Hard-to-Reach Customer Segments Analyzing large datasets to improve business decisions—broadly referred to as ‘Big Data’—is emerging as a powerful tool in nearly every industry from stock trading, retail merchandising, sports, and predicting election results. As energy-efficiency goals grow, our industry can also benefit from sophisticated data analytics. Data-driven decision-making can improve customer targeting, reduce transaction costs, reach smaller customers, optimize messaging, identify opportunities for cross-sell/cross-marketing, and increase the achieved energy savings per customer. Although utilities more commonly relate big-data analytics with supply-side and smartgrid applications, this paper demonstrates demand-side analytics that increase participation and realized savings from energy-efficiency portfolios and programs by better understanding the purchasing behavior patterns of mass market customers. We begin by briefly discussing the types of datasets most valuable to efficiency (e.g. customer, facility, transactional, usage, and historic participation) and then introduce the concept of breadth (i.e. convincing more customers to participate in efficiency) and depth (i.e. achieving more savings per participating customer) for mass-market customers (i.e. Homes and Small Businesses). We further argue that a data-driven efficiency portfolio (or program) can actually achieve greater results along both dimensions—breadth and depth—by providing both the analytics and path to allow customer to choose to implement deep energy savings. We present real results from our dataset of millions of customer records and over 50,000 customer transactions from utility programs in Texas, California, New York, and Tennessee. These results show new and measurable successes in both breadth and depth such as improving cost-effectiveness by 30% and doubling both participation rates and savings-per-customer. The paper concludes with practical recommendations for implementing data analysis into current utility efficiency portfolios and defining key metrics to evaluate their impact.
Mithra Moezzi Portland State University Operators’ Stories about Why Buildings Are Operated As They Are, and Consequences for Creating Change When people talk about the behavioral and energy use in commercial buildings, conversation usually turns immediately to what occupants do and what they should be doing better. These conversations miss the key element of energy use behavior in most commercial buildings: how buildings are operated. What building operators do is shaped not only by design assumptions, operating defaults, and other formal criteria, but also by occupant complaints, institutions and organizational management, technological and staffing limitations invisible to designers, and a complex of stakes — among which energy use is typically one of the least consequential aspects. This complex of factors leads, for example, to the fact that even in an audit of U.S. DOE buildings, less than half of buildings used recommended thermostat setbacks during non-working hours (DOE/IG1807, 2009). Yet the dynamics of building operations have remained black-boxed as if simply reflecting inherent “needs” and technical criteria. Rather, building operators are on the front line of building energy management. They present enormous opportunities for change, and for first-hand information about building energy use and technology performance that is often invisible in planning buildings and developing policy. The results presented here draw on the knowledge of building operators, other facilities staff, and researchers, based on two workshops (and two dozen supplemental interviews) collecting building operations experience as stories. Just as Hollywood writers collect and present stories to humanize “facts” and inspire audiences (Buffington; BECCC 2012), building operators use anecdotes in talking with colleagues to convey problems and lessons, to commiserate about stubborn issues, to try to convince occupants to behave in certain ways, etc. And through stories, building energy researchers call out what works and what goes wrong in building performance. These stories represent crucial “versions of reality” (Bruner 1991) that must be heeded if “better buildings” on paper are to translate to “better buildings” in fact. Stories move beyond low-dimension perspectives on reducing energy use that rest on ideals – e.g., if only occupants could be convinced to care about energy use, followed instructions, operators were better-trained, particular devices or systems were installed, or otherwise things worked according to plan. We relate some of these stories and extract the most salient themes in helping identify the most promising routes for lower energy use in operations, in planning future high-performance buildings, and in pointing to policy and technology blind spots. We examine, for example, (a) the powerful influence of complaints (and as importantly, the threat thereof) on building operations, energy use, and the design-performance gap; (b) why the promises of Building Automation Systems are so often unfulfilled; (c) how LEED, ZNE-design and other “green” certification can inhibit easy operations improvements; (d) how and why simple building problems linger and cascade into large-scale inefficiencies; (e) why energy use is almost invisible from the point of view of building operators, and (f) real examples of how building performance can be improved, e.g., how the best operations teams communicate with occupants and management to build buy-in and institute technological and policy changes while minimizing rebellion.
Sandra Kwak AutoGrid Reducing Power Consumption and Managing the Grid With Cloud Services and Big Data Utilities, grid operators and industrial-scale power consumers want to employ technology to reduce peak power, manage curtailment programs, and gain insight into consumer behavior. The challenge historically has been the cost and complexity of conventional grid management systems. Advances in predictive analytics and the emergence of cloud-based architecture are dramatically changing the market lowering the cost while increasing the performance and energy yield. These systems will also allow utilities to better integrate billing and IT functions with operational systems. Dr. Amit Narayan will provide a strategic overview of the opportunities as well as share data about existing projects.
Josiah Narog The Evergreen State College Measuring Voluntary Conservation Efforts in Response to Short Term Urgent Utiilty Outreach on Fox Island, WA In 2010, Fox Island suffered a partial failure of one of its two main power supply cables. The submarine cable, located at the bottom of the Hayle Passage, could not be repaired or replaced until after the approaching winter, the peak load season for this climate. This research seeks to determine whether, when faced with an urgent and temporary shortfall in energy supply, residents of Fox Island Washington responded to appeals from their utility company to conserve energy. Daily resolution energy consumption data from household smart meters was used to construct individual regression models for each household on the island, in order to predict baseline energy consumption at a household level. This “predicted” baseline was compared to observed energy consumption during the energy shortfall period, in order to detect significant changes in energy consumption which might be attributable to responses to utility outreach. Additionally, households will soon receive a professionally administered telephone survey, which will allow for segmentation of households according to income, education, attitudes and ideology, among other factors. These divisions will allow for examination of correlations between a household’s responsiveness to conservation requests and these demographic, beliefs and ideals. Results of regression modeling, telephone survey and analyses of energy conservation behavior, both in general and as a function of survey results and demographics, will be presented. It is expected that this study will provide insight into the efficacy of utility efforts to encourage voluntary conservation under conditions of short-term energy shortfalls, without the use of financial measures to incentivize such conservation efforts. It is also expected that a relationship will be discovered between the conservation efforts of residents and their participation in a separate but related hot water heater load control program. It is hoped that relationships between observable household characteristics and their energy consumption behavior will be observed, and that these relationships can be leveraged for future utility outreach efforts.
Dain Nestel PECI How Gaming is Creating Customer Engagement and Savings Opportunities for Residential Energy Efficiency Programs Social networking has evolved how friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers share information. Our entertainment now includes Facebook posts, tweets, photo sharing and personal insights. Online gaming has also continued to evolve from the board or PC to mobile platforms that incentivize networked engagements. While these platforms have expanded, Residential energy efficiency programs are feeling the impacts of a slow economic recovery. New approaches to energy efficiency leverage social media networks and major game platforms to engage customers and inform them of energy efficiency choices. Competition, achievement and rewards are concepts that customers respond to. By applying such gaming techniques – Gamificiation – programs have the ability to encourage desirable behavior from energy customers. One approach to gamification is leveraging virtual currency – as customers adopt energy efficiency measures, smart meter data quantifies savings and virtual credits are transferred to the customer in their game of choice. We will present how social gaming creates behavior savings opportunities by reviewing how the market is currently offering energy efficiency gaming. We will assess various programmatic designs, with a more extensive look at the design and results from Zema Good pilots – a platform that focuses on monetizing energy efficiency to drive behavior change. Facebook mobile user counts are estimated, as of January 2013, at 192M Android, 147M iPhone and 48M iPad installations, while over 100 million Americans actively play online games. The potential to expand energy efficiency participation with social gaming presents an exciting behavior innovation.
Jolyn Newton DNV KEMA Anatomy of a Demonstration Pilot: Smart Grid Appliances Case Study Creating customer value from the Smart Grid has been an overarching goal of the utility industry. Many Smart Meter business cases included undefined customer benefits associated with having the added intelligence of a Smart Meter. In this Grid Smart Appliance demonstration project, Glasgow Electric Plant Board (GEPB), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and General Electric (GE) joined forces to examine what those benefits might include. This project has involved the instrumentation of 30 homes in the GEPB service territory. The loads under monitor include heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), domestic hot water heater (DHW), electric clothes washer (Washer), electric clothes dryer (Dryer), Dishwasher, Range, Refrigerator, and the home’s internal temperature. In Phase 1 of this project, customers were recruited using new appliances as an incentive to participate. Baseline information on the customers’ existing appliances was collected, prior to the installation of new Grid Smart Appliance bundles in 20 of the 30 participating homes (Phase 2). In addition, the GE NucleusTM home energy management systems were installed which, in conjunction with a smart meter, provides near-real-time home electricity consumption information to help consumers identify ways to view their usage, manage their electricity costs, and actively reduce their electricity usage. In the final phase of the project, customers were presented with various programs and offerings, including Time-of-Use (TOU) rates and Demand Response (DR) incentives. This paper will presents results from Phases 1 and 2, in which appliance usage characteristics were compared and contrasted. In addition, the paper will highlight results from Phase 3 and describe how the utility and the customer benefited from the built-in control technology, rates and incentives.
Caroline Noblet University of Maine Drive Less: Easy to Say, Hard to Do–Understanding Decisions to Change Travel Modes Travel research has long concluded that the negative impacts of personal vehicle use cannot be mitigated by new technology alone; long-term travel policy must include demand reduction components (Graham-Rowe, Skippon, Gardner, & Abraham, 2011; Richter, Friman, & Gärling, 2011). Initiatives to reduce car driving can be broadly categorized as structural or psychological, where structural initiatives are often referred to as ‘hard transport policies’ which change the relative prices or the physical structures available for vehicles, or their alternatives (Bamberg, Fujii, Friman, & Gärling, 2011; Graham-Rowe, et al., 2011; Richter, et al., 2011). Psychological interventions, often referred to as ‘soft transport policy,’ rely on changing perceptions and other factors which motivate voluntary changes in driving choice (Bamberg, et al., 2011; Graham-Rowe, et al., 2011; Richter, et al., 2011). Transport policy often aims to change the modal split and/or reduce driving by combining ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ policy. We investigate how structural constraints and psychological motivators interact in determining travel choices in New England (USA). In total, 1,340 New England residents responded to a mail survey, which asked them about their use of alternative travel modes, their attempts to drive less, and a range of potential psychological and structural antecedents. We examine an expanded TPB model across four transportation modes with structural equation modeling to investigate whether (1) different ways to reduce car-driving (e.g. drive less, car pooling, cycling/walkling, public transport) depend on different factors influencing behavior; (2) the strength of factors varies by travel mode and (3) household and personal characteristics have a direct influence on travel choices. We find both an individual’s objective environment (i.e. available travel modes, spatial constraints, etc.) and their problem awareness, attitudes, and norms are important components of travel decisions. Interestingly, we find that travel modes differ in the set and strength of direct factors influencing choices. This suggests combining “hard” and “soft” policy interventions for maximum impact. We also find significant differences across the New England states, indicating travel interventions require locational specificity. Implications for policy and future research are discussed. Bamberg, S., Fujii, S., Friman, M., & Gärling, T. (2011). Behaviour theory and soft transport policy measures. Transport Policy, 18, 228-235. Graham-Rowe, E., Skippon, S., Gardner, B., & Abraham, C. (2011). Can we reduce car use and, if so, how? A review of available evidence. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 45(5), 401-418 Richter, J., Friman, M., & Gärling, T. (2011). Soft transport policy measures: Gaps in knowledge. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 5, 199-215.
Bill Norton Opinion Dynamics Usage and Waste: Examining Technological and Behavioral Inefficiencies Even with an increased focus on behaviors, there is still skepticism that behaviors can produce sufficient and reliable savings for resource planning. However, our research indicates that the wasted energy due to behaviors constitutes a much larger portion of overall consumption that widely thought. At BECC 2012, we presented a framework for measuring technological waste (associated with installed equipment characteristics) and behavioral waste (associated with equipment operation, hours and set points) at an end-use level. This framework provides a method for categorizing and calculating waste components that is useful for program planning, gap identification, and quantifying the overall magnitude of behavioral waste that traditional program planning might overlook. This presentation will detail the long-awaited results of this study, by quantifying the total magnitude of electricity waste for each end use and going further to break down that waste into (a) energy savings that can be achieved by improving equipment operation or user behavior, and (b) energy savings that could be achieved by installing more efficient equipment. This framework for quantifying opportunities for behavioral savings is relevant for program implementers nationwide. The results will be presented for the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, drawing on data from a large-scale and comprehensive primary data collection effort. Data collection featured self-report, on-site verification, and end-use metering (e.g., light logging), and methods to extrapolate data at each stage to particular customer segments of interest. This presentation will briefly review the analysis approach described at BECC 2012, including classifying existing equipment, operating patterns and customer behaviors into “efficient” vs. “not efficient” cases, and the translating these technological and behavioral waste “thresholds” into estimates of baseload and energy waste. However, the ultimate goal of the presentation is to showcase the results at an end-use level, including waste thresholds used in analysis and key factors contributing to low or high energy waste. While the results are specific to the study area, the relative scale of energy usage and waste, in the context of waste thresholds common to the energy industry, provides attendees with a framework for thinking about energy waste and the presentation will discuss how this research points to strategic interventions to stimulate adoption of more efficient equipment, operating practices, behaviors, and load management.
Julie O’Brien Opower Engagement, Knowledge, and Motivation: The Pathways Through Which Normative Comparisons Lead to Energy Savings and Improved Customer Satisfaction The purpose of this presentation is to present evidence of the pathways through which normative comparisons about energy usage lead to reductions in relative energy usage and improved satisfaction with one’s utility provider. We will present findings from a survey of 13,695 recipients of Opower’s Home Energy Report (HER) from 11 different utilities around the country. We tie survey responses measuring psychological motivations and traits, levels of engagement with HERs, and attitudes towards utilities, to respondents’ actual relative energy usage patterns. Opower’s residential energy efficiency program uses experimental design to measure energy savings. Households randomly assigned to the treatment group are mailed personalized HERs that summarize their home energy usage and compare it to the usage of 100 of their neighbors’ (who have similar-sized homes). Control group households receive no communication. A neighbor rank is computed for each HER recipient and is presented on each report. This neighbor rank is a relative usage score and represents where the household’s usage falls within the 100 comparison homes. Thus, the neighbor rank provides customers with an indication of the social norms around energy usage, and their relative usage in comparison to the norm. We hypothesize that those recipients with relatively higher neighbor ranks will engage with HERs at a higher level. We consider engagement with HERs to mean that recipients read them and also share them with household members or friends. Furthermore, we hypothesize that this higher level of engagement will result in greater energy savings, as measured by a decrease in neighbor rank. When customers are able to gain more control over their energy usage and see their neighbor ranks improve, they should also have more favorable impressions of their utility who provides them with the HERs. Thus, we also hypothesize that by engaging fully with HERs, customers feel that they have resources to understand energy efficiency and feel that reducing their energy usage is more important. Finally, we hypothesize that these psychological mechanisms drive the relationship between engagement with HERs and energy savings and the relationship between engagement with HERs and improved sentiment towards utilities. Thus, our presentation will demonstrate and discuss the following: 1) The effect of Opower’s HER program on relative energy savings and customer sentiment towards utilities; 2) The mediating effect of engagement with HERs on relative energy savings and customer sentiment; 3) The characteristics of those respondents most likely to engage with HERs, and; 4) The psychological processes that are impacted by HERs, and by engagement with HERs , that lead to relative energy savings and improved customer sentiment towards utilities.
Nicole O’Connor Energy Outreach Colorado Engaging Building Occupants for Increased Savings Are you seeking energy savings data to back up the momentum behind developing and implementing a behavior change program? Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) is a private, nonprofit that provides energy efficiency upgrades within low-income nonprofits and multi-family buildings. Within the energy efficiency funded program, occupant behavior education has always been an important component that was already integrated into the program. While energy efficiency savings have been easily tracked, isolated savings from the occupant education haven’t been as easily identified until recently. Byi nitiating occupant education into the beginning of the process and allowing much more time and focus on occupant behavior changes, buildings have become much more informed and involved in energy savings. The increased occupant engagement is playing a key role of the additional 5% energy savings being realized within participating facilities. As a contractor for the low-income Demand Side Management program in the state of Colorado, EOC has always incorporated a strong education program and now has the isolated savings data reflecting the positive impact of the program’s efforts. This data is used to continually evaluate the impact of the occupant behavior education in order to continue to support the inclusion of occupant behavior change as a viable energy saving option for Demand Side Management programs. Others who are seeking to incorporate behavior change in order to achieve valuable savings could also benefit from the experiences of EOC. This presentation will provide energy savings results related to the occupant behavior education program within 30 buildings. The evolution and implementation of Energy Outreach Colorado’s education program over the past three years has revealed some best practices that could be a great take-away for attendees to incorporate their own impactful occupant behavior changes into their facility or program.
Cindy Olson Eco-Coach Engaging Employees with Games, Incentives and Fun! Highly effective energy efficiency programs, especially “next generation” programs, are adapting to a tough environment. They’re facing new standards, stronger buildings codes, programs achieving deeper savings, and more. Building user engagement is a critical part of a comprehensive energy management plan—building occupants are responsible for 40-60% of the energy consumer on a daily basis! This session will discuss ways to actively involve all the stakeholders in the building’s energy plans, as well as evaluate the economic benefits of incorporating energy performance measures into the design and use of spaces. Whether you’re an owner or tenant, you’ll learn how to create fun engagement so you have energy partners in your energy efficiency initiatives, programs, and campaigns, all while providing measurement and verification to support your business case.
Brian Orland Pennsylvania State University Serious Games and Serious Energy Saving Serious Games are virtual simulations of real-world activities and events that can both educate users and prompt behavioral change. Games that engage social bonds and affection that players develop for their virtual “pets” have been effective in changing behavior in medical and commerce settings. Applied towards promotion of change energy consumption in office settings, serious games may encourage personal responsibility for energy use, provide an introduction to the issues associated with energy saving, and prepare office workers for more informed engagement with energy issues – without any costly retro-fits or changes to building fabric. The purpose of this study was to evaluate, in-situ, the effectiveness of a virtual pet game in reducing plug-loads in a mid-size commercial office setting. Participants in this intervention trial were 61 resident workers from a mid-size commercial office complex. Energy consumption of up to five appliances in each individual’s office space (total of 305 appliances ranging from desktop computers and monitors to phone chargers and foot warmers) were monitored continuously for 16 weeks using wireless plug-load sensors. After 4-weeks of monitoring (baseline phase), 42 of the participants were introduced to the “Energy Chickens” serious game, which they played for the next 12 weeks (intervention phase). Participants were provided with a web-based, game application that could be accessed from their desktop computers. Within the game, real-time daily energy consumption data for each individual’s devices was used to manipulate the characteristics of a set of animated chickens that “lived” on a personalized virtual farm that each user maintained. Following typical virtual-pet game mechanics, changes in device-specific energy consumption (relative to baseline levels) were reflected in the “health” of the corresponding chickens. When energy consumption was reduced, the chicken representing that device would grow larger and lay eggs that the user could collect and use to purchase accessories for their virtual farm. When energy consumption was increased, the chicken would become smaller, not lay as many eggs, and eventually become visibly ill (green). Game usage and farm improvement were tracked in real-time. Additional intervention components include a personal pledge to engage in energy reduction (signed when the game was introduced), and the placement of stickers and posters on which the Energy Chickens characters encouraged reduced energy consumption. During the baseline phase, intervention participants’ office appliances consumed an average of 1.67 kWh per day. Across all intervention days, average energy consumption declined to 1.32 kWh per day (F (1,3695) = 7.03, p = 0.008), a 21% reduction. Follow-up comparisons revealed reductions of 34% on non-work days (weekends) and 15% reduction on work days (weekdays). At the conclusion of the intervention, 69% of participants indicated that the game helped them be more energy conscious, with some indicating changes in their energy use outside the office. Results highlight the effectiveness of behavioral interventions on plug-load energy consumption, and the viability of deploying and using serious games within commercial office settings to change specific energy use behaviors.
Jane Peters Research Into Action Translating Theories into Interventions There are innumerable daily actions that humans take and nearly as many theories to describe why they do what they do. The number of theories that specifically affect energy use is daunting. Once theories are identified, turning them into interventions is even more daunting. However, we think it is worth the effort to help program implementers to be more successful in eliciting behavior change by targeting the right people with the right interventions, as suggested by existing theory and research. In other words, go beyond the low-hanging fruit in reducing energy usage. In late 2012, the investor owned utilities (IOUs) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) commissioned five leading energy behavior researchers to jointly develop a white paper on how to integrate behavior change into the design and implementation of energy efficiency programs operated by the IOUs. The white paper focuses only on household energy usage – not business or industry energy usage. The team identified theories from psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, the law, and science and technology that provide context and guidance on how to influence human behavior. We also reviewed interventions that have worked for pro-environmental behavior and energy efficiency behavior change and sought to link those interventions to the theories. This white paper documents that in addition to many effective interventions that can and yet have not been integrated into energy efficiency programs, there are additional theories of behavior to draw on that could inform the development of more intervention strategies. In our oral presentation we will seek to stimulate the audience to consider some of the underutilized theories of behavior change in thinking about how to spur households to greater energy efficiency actions. *Please note: To allow deeper audience involvement with the integrated set of ideas in this white paper, we propose a full session panel that combines this presentation with two others: “Moving Beyond Norms: Taking a Deep Dive into the Wide Range Behavioral Theories for Smarter Design” and “Expand Your Thinking: A Design Strategy for a New Mix of Behavioral Programs.”
Meredith Herr The Resource Innovation Group How to Engage the Public in Climate Adaptation: a research-based framing and communications guide The need to prepare our communities, economy, and ecological systems to withstand and adapt to climate change has never been greater. However, most Americans and many practitioners are still unclear about the concept of climate adaptation, its relationship with mitigation efforts, and how to effectively frame the issue with constituents. Climate and energy practitioners need state-of-the-art tools to manage opposition and motivate a diversity of constituencies to support climate adaptation policies and shift energy behaviors. The Climate Access team (of The Resource Innovation Group’s Social Capital Project) is developing an adaptation communications guide to provide practitioners with the necessary framing and public engagement recommendations to build broad support for strong climate preparation policies and programs. Adaptation efforts are vital to protect our communities from harmful climate impacts, but much of the public remains unaware of their significance. The adaptation communications guide will include a series of core framing and outreach recommendations based on a summary of public opinion polling, media trends, social science research, and adaptation efforts from 2006 to the present. The guide will be used as the basis for developing online and in-person adaptation communications training programs and tools. Cara Pike, founder and director of Climate Access and TRIG’s Social Capital Project, will share insights from the forthcoming adaptation communication guide, including research on how public opinion and media coverage of climate adaptation have shifted over time (including a review of how the research and practitioner landscape has changed since she originally presented adaptation communication findings to the BECC community in 2010). Cara will also discuss the current state of adaptation-related social science research and provide recommendations that are tailored specifically for practitioners who are looking to more effectively engage their constituents and build public support for climate adaptation efforts. Bio: Cara Pike is founder and director of Climate Access and The Resource Innovation Group’s Social Capital Project. Formerly the vice president of communications for the leading nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice, Cara has produced two of the largest and most influential studies on environmental and climate attitudes and worldviews. She has advised the Obama administration on climate change communication strategies and was a founding board member of the Global Footprint Network. Cara is an advisory board member of David Suzuki’s Stonehouse Standing Circle and serves on the boards of Resource Media and the Hollyhock Educational Foundation.
Jennifer Potter Sacramento Municipal Utility District SMUD’s SmartPricing Options Pilot- Recruitment, Implementation, and Retention In summer 2012, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) launched one of the largest pricing experiments ever conducted in the electricity industry. The experiment has been designed to assess the impact of three different pricing options: time-of-use (TOU), critical peak pricing (CPP) and a combination TOU/CPP tariff. The TOU and CPP tariffs were offered to customers on both an opt-in and default basis. The TOU/CPP tariff was offered on a default basis only. The opt-in rates were evaluated using a randomized control trial (RCT) based on a “recruit and delay” design. The default treatments were evaluated using a randomized encouragement design (RED), within-subjects analysis or both. This pilot is the first to allow for a comparison of enrollment rates and average impacts for the same tariff based on both opt-in and default enrollment. This presentation will provide details on SMUD’s strategy for recruitment, which resulted in over 17% for voluntary sign up for the time-based pricing plans, and 97% acceptance of the procing plans for the default customer groups. The presentation will highlight different marketing channels, collateral and provide examples of language that was developed for the campaign through market research into customer preferences for the new time based plans. The presentation will also provide details into SMUD’s retention campaign, which includes sweepstakes, contests, online games, (i.e. gamification), Facebook groups, Pinterest, recipe cards, welcome back kits, unique plan specific microsites, and discount cards to local retailers for participants to use during the summer months. SMUD’s retention rates for the first year of the pilot boast a low 3% attrition for opt-in and 6% for the default customer groups. SMUD continues to focus tremendous efforts on keeping customers engaged in the pilot and educated on ways to reduce energy use, especially during the peak hours.
Steven Propper Pacific Gas and Electric Raising the Bar on Customer Experience – Increased Engagement Through Multi-Channel Marketing There is no silver bullet to reaching customers, so Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is leveraging a multi-channel, multi-touch approach to marketing. Combining customer data with numerous points of contact, ranging from integrated marketing to enhanced call center support, and online tools, PG&E is helping customers improve their awareness of their energy use and take steps to optimize their energy management. Informed by customer data on energy usage, customer characteristics, propensity to adopt energy efficiency, and geography, PG&E’s campaign focus is on relevant and actionable content that breaks through the crowded media marketplace and inspires customers to action. In this session, PG&E will report on recent campaign results and customer response to integrated efforts including: • Enhanced, targeted product offerings and outreach • Improved customer experience driven through a redesigned bill and related customer service opportunities • Broad-reaching education and outreach campaigns that educate customers on their energy usage and opportunities for reduction • Use of social media and social normative outreach including home energy reports • Utilizing data and customer insights to inform our approach and comment on future opportunities for integrating of data to gain additional actionable insights
Carol Edwards Edwards Consulting Does In-home Energy Education Influence Customer Behavior? A review of California’s low-income energy efficiency programs Does In-home Energy Education Influence Customer Behavior? A review of California’s low-income energy efficiency programs Valerie Richardson, DNV KEMA Stephanie Yang, DNV KEMA Carol Edwards, Edwards Consulting Energy efficiency upgrades to low-income homes help struggling families use less energy and lower utility bills. In addition to providing weatherization and other energy efficient measures, California’s Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP) offers energy education to customers who qualify for the program. As the State embraces more behavior-based initiatives that actively engage customers in helping meet the aggressive energy efficiency goals, understanding and improving energy education becomes more critical. This study assesses how energy education can be delivered in a way that raises awareness of key issues and facilitates important and lasting behavioral changes in low income household. The Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP) operated by California’s four investor-owned utilities (IOU) provides a variety of energy efficiency-related services at no cost to low-income households in California. As part of the services delivered to eligible and qualified customers, customers receive information and education to promote energy efficiency practices. This educational component of the program is delivered to customers in their homes by trained Energy Specialist contractors. The education covers various topics determined by the Statewide Low Income Energy Efficiency Policy and Procedures manual including: energy usage associated with specific appliances and end uses, appliance safety, greenhouse gas emissions, water conservation, how to read a utility bill, and information on other low-income resources. ESAP utilizes known effective techniques such as visual technical education during a walk-thru of the home and materials such as pamphlets and educational DVDs, to educate low-income households. While there are some general parameters that the CPUC requires on what education elements IOUs are required to deliver, each IOU (and their contractors) has some flexibility in terms of their approach and the materials provided, as well as how they train their Energy Specialists to deliver energy education. This study examines and compares what Energy Specialists provide regarding energy education; including content, time spent, instruction methods, and related details. The research examines differences between IOU’s and contractors on these criteria, in conjunction with associated outcomes based on these different approaches. The research employs qualitative and quantitative research to examine the effectiveness of the educational practices and materials intended to increase customer awareness of key energy management or safety-related matters. It further explores the extent to which this information is retained and/or leads to specific actions or ongoing behavioral changes within these households. While results of this assessment are not finalized, it is anticipated that a combination of low income customer circumstances and the practices and materials employed determine if and how the material is retained and put into practice. The study offers specific direction regarding opportunities to improve the content (and delivery) via the best practices identified in primary research of the existing CA IOU programs as well as an assessment, per secondary research, of alternative educational practices utilized by other jurisdictions.
Grant Ricketts Tripos Software, Inc Driving Behavior Change in Large Organizations Abstract: How do organizations with thousands of employees, even hundreds of thousands, as is the case with the US Postal Service, initiate and drive behavior change to address the many sustainability and energy efficiency issues they face? This session presents a case study on how the US Postal Service has orchestrated employee-led initiatives to realize over $100 million in annual economic savings, even while facing tightening fiscal pressures. It will address the strategy used to align and direct behavioral change programs, the program mix and tools used to engage employees across the organization (including online learning programs, interactive surveys and suggestion forums, ‘green team’ support, gamification, rewards and incentives), and how the organization tracks, measures, rewards and reports ongoing results. The USPS change model focuses on goal-directed behaviors by aligning actions and initiatives with specific sustainability goals, promoting and motivating employee participation, and then tracking activities to specific results. Change programs are designed to build employee awareness and engagement through training, surveys, and ongoing support for continued expansion of ‘green teams’ across USPS operations. Current program metrics include identification of 42 key employee actions, organizing over 870 ‘green teams’ (up from 268 in 2010), and targeting role-based online learning modules to over 15,000 employees. In this session the audience will gain insights on how to organize and execute broadscale behavior and cultural change around sustainability and energy efficiency in large organizations. Key audience takeaways include: • How change initiatives are aligned, tracked and measured to deliver ongoing results • How a program mix is developed and implemented to accomplish these objectives • How employee participation is recognized and rewarded • Key ‘best practices’ and ‘lessons learned’ that attendees can take back to their organization Background: Grant Ricketts, the lead presenter has worked closely with the US Postal Service as a key program provider for their employee engagement initiatives and presents this case study with permission from the USPS. He has also attended and presented twice before at BECC, in 2012 and 2008. He has a background in learning and talent management systems as a founding member of Saba Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: SABA). He holds a B.A. Economics with honors and an M.B.A from the Haas School at the University of California, Berkeley and started his career in consumer products advertising with Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco.
Jennifer Robinson EPRI Show me the value: why people do, or do not, participate in feedback programs Facilitated in part by metering and communications advances, electric utilities are experimenting with ways to provide their customers feedback, that is, information about their electricity usage beyond the standard bill. Evidence suggests that feedback may facilitate energy savings and lead to improved customer satisfaction. However, in order for these potential benefits to be realized, in some cases utility customers must agree to receive the feedback in the first place. Given that potential benefits will be a product of not only the average impact per customer, but also the number of people receiving the intervention, this question of customer participation is an important one. Of the three main research areas relating to behavioral program impacts – participation, performance, and persistence – participation is likely the most understudied. This presentation focuses on research performed by CenterPoint Energy to analyze their experience in recruiting residential customers to participate in a pilot program involving a real-time feedback device. Recruitment results are presented and placed in context with results gleaned from other empirical studies. The results from a non-participant survey are presented – that is, a survey to assess why customers chose not to participate in the feedback program – and overall implications for behavioral program customer recruitment are discussed.
Sea Rotmann SEA – Sustainable Energy Advice Task 24: Cracking the Toughest Nut — An International Project Looking at Turning Behaviour Change Theory Into Practice The International Energy Agency Demand Side Management (IEADSM) Implementing Agreement ( has initiated work that concentrates specifically on energy end user behaviour change. Task 24 investigates behaviour change theory and case studies in order to improve design, implementation and evaluation of pilots, policies and programmes that are geared towards energy efficiency or conservation outcomes. There is a great opportunity for DSM programmes if this potential could be easily accessed and directed. However, as many other IEA (DSM) Tasks have discovered, the ‘market failure’ of energy efficiency is often due to the vagaries of human behaviour and choice. The current social norm is still not to see energy saving behaviour as a major priority in achieving a transition to a sustainable energy system. Governments continue to focus on technological and economic solutions, without taking the ‘human component’ into account. There are several reasons for these challenges and this new Task sets to uncover, unravel and define them in order to provide clear recommendations to policymakers and DSM implementers around the world. One of the main challenges is that humans are often still regarded as economically rational actors whose behaviours can be influenced by fiscal incentives and information alone. However, the factors influencing human behaviour are so vast and complex that such simplistic approaches almost invariably fail. It is imperative to uncover the context-specific factors (from infrastructure, capital constraints, values, attitudes, norms, culture, climate, geography, education, politics, legislature etc) that influence human behaviour in specific sectors (eg the factors that influence our transport behaviours often differ from the ones driving our hot water usage). This, however, is difficult when faced with the need to develop a quick-fix policy solution, as so many policymakers are. In addition, there is a large variety of research disciplines that endeavour to study human behaviour (social and environmental psychology, environmental and behavioural economics, anthropology, science technology studies, practice and innovation diffusion theory etc), each with their own models and frameworks, advantages and disadvantages. Behaviour change researchers from different disciplines don’t collaborate enough, and their research often fails to get translated into smarter policymaking and programme design. Furthermore, it is extremely hard to evaluate ongoing behaviour change outcomes. This Task looks at real-life examples where policies, programmes and pilots were based on various models of understanding behaviour or theories of change. It compiles, compares and analyses the various aspects of these case studies in order to provide clear recommendations to so-called ‘intermediaries’ (DSM policymakers, programme designers and implementers) in participating countries on what works, when, why and with/for whom. Of special interest is the question if there are models or frameworks which are better suited for certain countries, programmes, stakeholders and energy sectors (this Task is concentrating on building, transport, SMEs and smart metering technology) than others. Outcomes of this analysis, revealing approaches for best practice and the main challenges, will be presented in this paper.
Michael Rovito ERS Speaking in 3D: Convincing Decision Makers to Go Net Zero Numerous studies of nonresidential net zero buildings, including one performed by this research team, have found that they can be built at little to no cost premium. How is it possible to achieve such extraordinary performance without extraordinary expense? And why aren’t more organizations choosing to pursue such an efficient design if it is not a premium investment? This presentation proposes a three-dimensional framework for thinking about the design and construction of buildings that helps to answer these questions. The three dimensions are cost, energy performance, and – most critically – non-energy performance. Today’s net zero buildings have made tradeoffs in the non-energy dimension – aesthetics, functionality, and comfort – in order to achieve extraordinary energy performance at little to no cost premium. The quintessential example is giving up the coveted glass curtain wall. Glass costs more than opaque wall, and even the best glass performs poorly as an insulator in comparison to code-level opaque walls. By thoughtfully sizing, shaping, and locating windows instead of building a glass wall, designers can reduce thermal fluxes and better channel daylight to minimize heating, cooling, and lighting loads – all while saving on construction costs. Along these lines, a hallmark of existing net zero buildings is the many load-reducing design strategies employed to achieve extremely high levels of energy performance. These strategies often save money relative to typical design approaches by using cheaper or fewer materials (as in the example of the glass curtain wall) or by downsizing mechanical equipment (and costs) as a result of reduced loads. But they also frequently require some sacrifice in the non-energy dimension: no floor-to-ceiling windows, fewer enclosed offices, altered building orientation, and wider temperature bands, just to name a few. This presentation presents original research performed on behalf of NYSERDA cataloging the frequency of measures in high performance buildings, the costs of next-generation projects, and the technical potential of new construction, major renovations, and retrofits. Taken together, this research helps to explain the counterintuitive phenomenon that net zero does not need to cost more, and it clarifies why only a limited set of building owner types have undertaken net zero and high performance building projects. The research points to the third dimension – non-energy performance – as the critical aspect of achieving low levels of energy consumption. But the importance of this dimension to decision-makers –owners, designers, and investors – is not properly accounted for in the argument for next-generation energy-efficient design. Although this presentation argues that some sacrifices along the non-energy dimension must be made to achieve net zero, it also argues that the sacrifices are small in comparison to the benefits and that many of the tradeoffs are not truly sacrifices at all. By understanding these tradeoffs, a better-articulated argument for net zero and deep savings can be made to those decision-makers who will make the choice to pursue these cost-effective next-generation buildings.
Barb Ryan EnerNOC Utility Solutions Strategies for Improving Customer Response to Price Signals Presentation Title: Paying the price – How Price Signals Influence Customer Behavior Author: Barb Ryan, Senior Project Manager, EnerNOC Utility Solutions Abstract: One of the benefits of the smart grid is the ability to provide customers with more information about their energy use and as a result give them more control over their energy costs. But in practice, does information equal greater control for customers? Are price signals alone enough to influence customer behavior? This presentation will discuss the results of four primary research efforts with customers participating in programs that provide price signals in order to influence conservation actions: 1) 285 in-depth interviews conducted with business customers in California’s statewide Critical Peak Pricing program, 2) a survey with 1,271 PG&E residential customers who receive energy alert notifications when they are about to move into a higher price rate tier, 3) a survey of OG&E residential customers participating in their prepayment pilot program and 4) a survey with participants of OG&E’s variable peak pricing program. We will discuss how successful each program is in influencing behavior, the main drivers that determine whether and how much a customer is able to conserve and obstacles that still need to be overcome for these programs to consistently produce savings. We will also discuss the role of technology, and how it can be used to increase customer response. We will synthesize the results of these four research efforts with existing secondary research to provide the audience with possible strategies that can be used in program design to maximize customer response to price signals.
Gomathi Sadhasivan DNV KEMA Get Out The Watt! : Drawing Parallels with a GOTV Campaign and Influencing Behavior for Results in Energy Efficiency The intersection of big data, social data, primary research and analytics has proven to be a sweet spot for several industries/verticals including the recently concluded 2012 presidential political campaign. This presentation shall explore the characteristics of an effective (and ineffective) Get Out The Vote (GOTV) program and draw parallels with energy efficiency campaigns. The following questions will be examined: • What are the social norms that are leveraged by a GOTV campaign? • What elements of the program contribute to increased participation and vice versa? • What are the features of the cultural ecosystem that enables viability of such a program? • What messaging choices lead to a higher probability of effecting the desired behavior change? • What are potential methods to arrive at the optimal combination of channel, message and recommended actions? • What are the key lessons to be learned from GOTV and which of these are directly transferable to energy programs? For example – deep data mining to help profile and strategically target customers. • How are utilities faring in this area? For example – how many, if any, are constructing large geo-demographic datasets and augmenting these with primary research variables to serve the purpose of customer targeting. • What are the specific limitations for the utility/energy industry and how do these compare with other verticals? The presentation is informed by a first-hand account of methods used in a GOTV campaign and supplementary research to augment findings. This presentation will contextualize learning from a GOTV campaign by exploring applications within the utility/energy industry and shall span topic areas of interest such as social norms, culture, program design, analytics, modeling behavior, marketing strategies etc. to present a transdisciplinary perspective.
Beth Savan University of Toronto Behaviour Change and Cycling for Transportation Sustainable transportation is a critical energy, climate and behaviour issue. We report on behaviour change pilot projects to accelerate adoption of cycling for transportation in Toronto. These projects incorporate sophisticated behaviour change strategies including: identification and mapping of cycling behaviour; demographic parameters affecting cycling readiness; and an evidence based behaviour change tool kit. This tool kit was developed from a comprehensive literature review and aligned outcomes of documented cycling interventions against specific strategies to increase uptake. The result is an adaptable tool kit that outlines a sequence of steps, with optional activities at each step adaptable to varying circumstances. The pilot projects are targeted at communities identified as experiencing important life transitions making them ready for other behavioural changes. They live, and work or study in areas where a critical mass of cyclists already exists to normalize cycle commuting. Finally, each pilot is delivered in collaboration with local community leaders, organizations and partners, but with unique branding to tie diverse activities delivered by various groups together into a coherent, well sequenced local intervention. Outcomes are being rigorously evaluated using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Motorized transport accounted for 23% of world CO2 emissions and estimates place the proportion of this from personal transportation at 74% for the United States and 65% for Canada (International Transport Forum 2010). Active transportation has been identified as a significant part of the solution. Yet, large knowledge gaps exist especially as they relate to how individual communities can increase commuter cycling. Typically researchers and policy makers focus on physical infrastructure. While important, it is not the sole driver of cycling participation. Our recent research addresses the relationship between behaviour change programs and social and physical factors as they relate to cycling. We consolidated information regarding behaviour change tools and cycling and created a Tool Kit to Accelerate Cycling for Transportation. At the same time, we mapped patterns of cycling behaviour in Toronto and examined the relationship of cycling participation to variables like physical cycling infrastructure, but also to trip length, cycle service facilities, mode share of other transport methods and demographic factors such as age, sex, income, immigration status, employment status and education level. Results suggest a combination of physical and social conditions influence cycling participation. Our research results are being integrated into the delivery of our two pilot behaviour change interventions.
Josh Schellenberg Freeman, Sullivan & Co. Evaluation of the Impact of Bill Alerts on Usage and Bill Payment Behavior In the summer of 2012, a North American utility launched a bill alert pilot for over 3,200 customers that were recruited through direct mail, email and telemarketing. Under this pilot, customers could set savings targets and received weekly updates of their electricity costs and progress toward their savings target through bill alert emails, text messages and/or phone calls. As with many behavioral program studies, this evaluation estimates the impact of this intervention on electricity usage throughout the one-year pilot. More importantly, this evaluation estimates the impact of bill alerts on payment behavior, which is a very important topic in the utility industry that has not been thoroughly studied. Even if bill alerts do not produce energy savings, the program would be highly valuable to a utility if weekly electricity cost updates increase the likelihood that customers pay their bills on time. For example, customers that receive a bill alert that warns of an impending high bill may not change their behavior to reduce electricity usage, but having that forewarning could lead to changes in household financial decisions to ensure that the electricity bill is paid on time. Considering that this evaluation will be used to help determine whether or not bill alerts are a cost-effective intervention that significantly impacts usage and/or payment behavior, the results of this evaluation are highly pertinent to the many utilities that are looking for innovative ways to produce energy savings and improve bill payment timeliness.
Nicholas Schwab University of Northern Iowa Conscientious Personality and Residential Energy Conservation Behavior Personality affects motivation and behavior across a range of important real-world domains — from job-performance to health — and likely affects environmental attitudes and behaviors. Several studies have linked personality to environmental concern and environmental attitudes, typically finding that some personality traits (e.g. agreeableness and conscientiousness) are associated with greater awareness of environmental issues and pro-environmental attitudes (e.g. endorsement of recycling). However, little work has directly examined the relationship between personality and energy conservation. Based on previous work associating personality and environmental attitudes, conscientiousness is likely to play an important role in actual environmental behaviors, specifically behaviors associated with energy conservation. Numerous studies have linked conscientiousness and health behaviors which suggests that conscientiousness is apt to influence behaviors well outside the domain of health, especially when those behaviors are perceived to be advantageous and/or normatively important (Lodi-Smith & Roberts, 2007). Milfont and Sibley (2012) recently found a positive association between conscientiousness and self-reported electricity conserving behaviors (e.g. turning lights off when leaving the room). The present study further explores the potential relationship between conscientiousness and energy conservation behaviors within the context of an on-going social marketing campaign to decrease residential energy use. As part of a larger quasi-experimental field study, three Midwestern communities were surveyed prior to the onset of a community wide social marketing campaign to encourage specific residential energy conservation behaviors (e.g. switching to LED bulbs within residences). The campaign includes radio PSAs on local stations, billboard advertising with campaign messages, literature available at local businesses, and tabling at prominent public events. A pre-campaign baseline survey assessed a host of variables, including participants’ awareness of energy conservation behaviors, the specific behaviors and or steps participants had taken to save energy in their homes, and general attitudes toward energy conservation. Within the pre-campaign survey, participants also responded to several items taken from the Behavioral Indicators of Conscientiousness scale (BIC; Jackson, Wood, Bogg, Walton, Harms, & Roberts, 2010). An example item included “how frequently do you organize and file important papers?” The social marketing campaign is still on-going and the project will conclude in the summer of 2013. At the conclusion of the campaign, a post-campaign survey will again assess participants’ awareness of energy conservation behaviors, their reported household conservation behaviors, changes in those behaviors targeted by the campaign, and participants’ conscientiousness behaviors as measured by the BIC. We hypothesize that self-reported conscientious behaviors will be positively associated with participant energy conservation behaviors across surveys; in particular, we predict that changes in those behaviors targeted by the campaign will be positively associated with conscientiousness. To our knowledge, this would be the first study to examine the link between conscientiousness and household energy conservation behaviors within the context of a behavioral change campaign. This work could potentially help refine the framing of messages within social marketing campaigns, where messages could better target the motivational processes apt to engage conscientious residents and consumers.
Daniel Schwartz Carnegie Mellon University The Chill of the Moment: Teachable Moments and Climate Change The lack, rather than the excess, of emotional response to individual and societal problems constitutes a challenge to issues, such as climate change, for which the consequences are distant and unfold slowly. The literature on emotions, and more specifically on teachable moments, suggests that the window of opportunity to lock in commitments for action, when emotions run high, may be brief. Yet, although not always cast as research dealing with teachable moments per se, there is also substantial evidence that moments which might be viewed as ‘teachable’ often do not result in immediate, much less prolonged, behavior change. This may explain why, in absence of immediate commitment, circumstances related to climate change, such as vivid images of polar bears drowning, may fail to trigger behavioral changes. In fact, climate change is an especially appropriate target for interventions playing on teachable moments because it has almost all the hallmarks of a problem toward which people are likely to experience insufficient emotional arousal: It unfolds slowly and is difficult to discern in one’s immediate environment. We conducted three experiments (N=1,581) using short audio-visual messages to examine the significance of teachable moments for climate change, including the role of emotions and commitment to create and take advantage of teachable moments in order to affect individuals’ behavior toward climate change mitigation. In study 1, we examined the role of emotions in establishing a teachable moment, comparing emotional vs. non-emotional videos. Participants were randomly assigned to either watch an emotional video or a non-emotional, informational, video about global warming. As a behavioral measure, participants were then requested to volunteer their time completing an energy-footprint calculator. They were told that more time was a “way of taking more action about global warming.” In study 2, we investigated the creation (and extinction) of a teachable moment over time, using the same behavioral measure used in the first study, but either immediately or one hour after they watched the video. To examine that results are not explained by present-biased preferences, in study 3 we asked participants to make a donation to an environmental organization (WWF) just after watching the video or one hour later. We found that people volunteered more time on an energy-footprint calculator after a 5-minute survey, for no extra compensation, after watching a short emotional ad, and significantly less time after watching a video that did not evoke emotions (studies 1 and 2). Likewise, participants donated 30% more money to an environmental organization to mitigate climate change after watching the emotion-evoking video compared to watching an informational, non-emotional, video (study 3). However, both of these behavioral responses evaporated after a short period of time (studies 2 and 3). For those interested in changing environment-related behavior, these results suggest that emotional-evoking messages should be accompanied by difficult-to-change commitments that can be implemented while emotions remain aroused.
Dallase Scott GreenerU Value of Occupant Outreach: Design and Evaluation of a Dorm Energy Efficiency Program There is a lot of talk about the importance of sustainability outreach programs on college campuses, yet there is little data which proves its value. In an effort to quantify the efficacy of such outreach programs a study was conducted at Brown University that looked at the impact of a targeted outreach campaign to buildings that recently had new infrastructure upgrades. The study compared two sets of dorms on the Brown University campus. All four of these dorms received efficiency and control upgrades. However, only two of the four buildings received the targeted outreach campaign to promote the proper use of the new Thermostatic radiator valves and the promotion of keeping windows closed during the winter months (November – March). Building energy use, window observations, service response calls and a survey measuring student awareness and attitudes for all four buildings was used to measure the effectiveness of the outreach campaign. During this presentation participants will learn how behavior change theory was used to design the targeted outreach campaign. They will also learn how we determined measurable indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Finally this session will review the findings of this study. Currently, preliminary results are promising. Although we are still getting in the energy use for the winter months, window observations showed that buildings that received the targeted outreach saw a 67% decrease relative to the control buildings.
Michael Seelig Pacific Gas and Electric Company PG&E Business Energy Reports: What Is It and How Does It Work? In 2013, Pacific Gas and Electric Company shall launch its first emerging technologies Business Energy Reports pilot to 30,000 small and medium sized business (SMB) customers throughout Northern and Central California. Business Energy Reports are printed energy analysis reports mailed directly to SMB decision-makers that provide normative comparisons to similar businesses. In order to further drive positive energy efficiency behavioral actions with business owners and their employees; these reports will incorporate customized business segment-driven messaging, education, testimonials, resources, targeted areas of focus based on end-use disaggregation, load shifting recommendations based on peak time and high energy usage outliers, and eligible customer specific incentives (such as “OBF”), rebates, and zero-cost energy savings recommendations. Additionally, the reports will illustrate personalized energy efficiency performance results that incorporate customer provided updates to their NAICS coding, business building characteristics, number of occupants, hours of operation, and feedback from their online energy efficiency action plan with reminders and acknowledgements for completed tasks. These reports are generated, printed, and mailed by Pulse Energy on behalf of PG&E. The new Business Energy Reports program will use experimental design and Randomized Control Trial (RCT) whereby a sample population of 30,000 SMB customers are assigned either to receive paper-based energy analysis reports (“treatment” condition) or not (“control” condition). Freeman Sullivan & Company has been selected as the third party evaluator to perform the random assignment, calculate ex-post energy savings, and co-author a final “M&V” evaluation report. This presentation will share some initial findings on energy savings, customer feedback on the printed reports, a summary of key learnings, and modeling methodology for creating normative comparisons for similar businesses using NAICS coding, building characteristics data, and climate zones.
Justin Segall Simple Energy Using Behavioral Economics to Enhance Dynamic Pricing and Deliver Peak Reduction Results As more and more utilities begin to implement residential demand control programs such as dynamic pricing and peak load reduction, it becomes increasingly important that they have a way to engage their program participants and then be able to communicate quickly and effectively with those engaged customers. Simple Energy helps utilities to enhance the effectiveness of these programs by creating a platform that engages the customer by appealing to intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Our platform design is based on the idea that we should stop trying to get people to care about saving energy, and instead get them to act “as if” they cared. We will discuss the architecture behind our platform’s gamification, and how it applies behavioral motivations such as supersized incentives, social pressure and comparison, and the appeal of “free”. We provide individual energy insights, social comparison, and the opportunity to win prizes and rewards to engage the customer in the program. Then, we retain and communicate with these engaged customers through targeted, multi-platform messaging. Simple Energy has been involved in such programs with utilities all over the country. A few notable clients include San Diego Gas & Electric, Pepco Holdings, and National Grid. Specific case studies will illustrate these concepts and serve as evidence of the various techniques and program structures currently being implemented in the utility industry. Effective communication with program participants is an essential component to any demand-response program. As evidence of behavior change through effective communication and engagement, we will discuss the industry’s first verified peak reduction results delivered through a large-scale behavior-based program (as well as the process behind calculating these results) and the accompanying metrics that were also being tracked throughout the program.
Bud Vos Simple Energy The Use of Rewards to Drive Behavior Change Caring alone is an insufficient motivator for some of the most important actions we need to take (e.g. losing weight, campaigning for a cause, saving energy, or even downloading a new app). Many of today’s most common approaches still seek to appeal to underlying values, not to actual behavioral drivers. This session will dive deep into some of the key tenants of behavioral science and gamification and how they may be applied to driving people to action. What are the most effective intrinsic and extrinsic motivators? How can utilities harness the power of points used so effectively in programs such as Weight Watchers and credit card rewards programs? How can new digital customer engagement lead to measured and verified results? The presentation will be supported by evidence from Simple Energy’s multiple consumer engagement programs. We will discuss the architecture behind our platform’s gamification, and how it applies behavioral motivations such as supersized incentives, social pressure and comparison, and the appeal of “free”. We provide individual energy insights, social comparison, and the opportunity to win prizes and rewards to engage the customer in the program. Then, we retain and communicate with these engaged customers through targeted, multi-platform messaging. We will discuss verified program results; providing detail and metrics related to big data integration, email and platform engagement, and resultant energy efficiency and peak time reduction outcomes.
Yoav Luri Simple Energy Community Engagement Driving Behavioral Efficiency This presentation will discuss a successful past community based customer engagement program, as well as plans for possible future iterations of the program in the commercial sector. We will look at how the power of a local community can be harnessed as a motivator for behavioral energy efficiency programs. Some consumers may not care about winning prizes or competing against their friends, but may be incentivized to save energy if it was helping out their local community. We will summarize the experience of Simple Energy and SDG&E’s San Diego Energy Challenge in using grassroots organization and marketing to elicit participation in behavioral programs that allow residents to compete for a community based reward. In the San Diego Energy Challenge, participants chose a local school to support by joining their team. The schools then competed for energy savings and team supporters. In the end, $26,500 worth of grants were awarded to the winning schools, the most successful of which achieved a 69% participation rate. This community-based competition ran in conjunction with other, individual, incentives. We will discuss program metrics and program-end customer survey feedback, both of which provide strong evidence to suggest that many people who may not be as drawn to individual competition, are motivated by the prospect of participating in and contributing to their community. We will finish by exploring possibilities for using this same sense of local and team-based competition within the commercial industry. What makes the energy consumption habits of a small-medium sized business different than those of a home owner? What types of prizes and rewards might be most motivating to small business owners? How might the business’ patronage participate? We will discuss how we plan to address these questions in an upcoming commercial behavioral energy efficiency program.
David Salvesen University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Identifying Transportation Deserts in Rural North Carolina Counties: Where Environment, Transportation Supply, and Socio-Demographics Intersect Individuals such as the poor, elderly, and those with language barriers or physical impairments often struggle to get to get to work, to medical appointments, or to shopping and services. These individuals are also often spatially concentrated in ‘transportation deserts’ – places with built environments and land use patterns that fail to accommodate their residents’ mobility needs, and thus may be considered transportation-disadvantaged. Reliable and efficient methods to identify such places, to measure the extent of the gap between actual and desired mobility, and to support more efficient transportation systems may be useful to transportation planners and others. A mixed-method study that combines GIS-driven mapping of socio-demographic, built environment and transportation supply variables with qualitative data from key informants and citizens yielded insights into how residents of five rural counties travel for their routine needs, and where their mobility needs are not well served by existing travel options. As a multi-disciplinary team (urban planning, transportation and land use, civil engineering) from two large public universities in a state with a history of and commitment to extensive and expansive road-building, we were interested in knowing where road infrastructure does and doesn’t provide the best mobility support, where scheduled transit is more or less likely to be effective, and what non-motorized mobility options residents desire. The rural counties we studied included substantial socio-demographic variation (including racial and ethnic, income and wealth, age, profession, and education), and encompass sparsely developed rural lands, as well as small towns and small cities (10,000-50,000 residents) of diverse urban form. Key informant interviews with local transportation-relevant experts and focus groups with local residents yielded locally specific information unavailable from publicly available data sources, and informed deeper understanding of mismatches between when, where and how citizens need and want to travel and the options available to them. The qualitative data supported assessment of whether key informants’ professional knowledge and local residents’ experiences align with the maps of likely transportation deserts generated by spatial analysis, yielding a more nuanced understanding of the relationship of built environment and transportation supply with mobility outcomes, particularly for traditionally underserved populations such as low-income, mobility-limited, elderly, low-English proficiency, cognitively limited, and others. The resulting analysis of transportation options across socio-demographic groups and in different transportation supply and environmental contexts contributes to the discussion of how built environment and transportation supply may support more equitable, efficient, clean and low-carbon transportation. The goal is to expand the transportation planning paradigm beyond highway capacity to public transportation as well as options for non-motorized travel, to meet the needs of diverse populations. By considering not only the engineering aspects of transportation supply (e.g., highway capacity and transit infrastructure and services) but also travel behavior and human preferences, we seek to better understand what built-environment features and what transportation services may best meet the mobility needs of citizens from various populations, and connect them with the goods, services, and activities they seek to access.
Mike Sherman Navigant Consulting Leaping then Looking: Lessons Learned by the Cambridge Energy Alliance Abstract for BECC Cambridge Energy Alliance Lessons Learned In early 2006, The Cambridge Energy Alliance was launched as a vision of acquiring broad and deep water and energy savings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by coordinated action throughout the entire community of Cambridge Massachusetts. CEA was pitched to homeowners, tenants, landlords, commercial and industrial businesses, city government and the city’s leading institutions (Harvard and MIT). The idea was to get everyone on board through dramatic appeals backed by demonstrating solid energy efficiency action, starting with a municipal water works project. CEA was to be a hybrid of non-profit organization and private sector orientation and importantly, private sector funding. Energy efficiency could be monetized. It was already happening in the wholesale electricity world in the ISO New England Forward Capacity Market. CEA never caught fire with the community and never established a stable financial base. Its hybrid organization confused potential private and public funders, as well as the IRS. Energy efficiency could not be monetized in the private equity markets at workable interest rates. The aggressive utility energy efficiency programs found CEA to be a hindrance, not a help. CEA was staffed and guided by some of the finest, experienced talent in energy efficiency and energy services but they were outsiders, perceived as using the city as laboratory, ‘in Cambridge’ but not ‘of Cambridge’ Over five years, with foundation support, some utility support and support from one of those large universities, CEA tried many tacks to draw in commercial, residential and public players. There were accomplishments but never on the grand scale envisioned. The organization reorganized itself several times but never found the right formula. At this point the original organization is folded into the City of Cambridge, now emphasizing residential and small commercial energy efficiency. Key Lessons learned, applicable to community based energy efficiency initiatives: » Establish a clear business plan, with organizational and financial goals; revise the plan as conditions change (CEA did this.). » Establish value and clear partnerships from the onset, to cultivate collaboration and common goals. Nurture partnerships with frequent, open communication and participation by formal and informal community leaders. » Obtain top-level commitments from government, institutional, and business leaders. Learn the limits of their buy-in by presenting clear, concrete “asks”; learn what leaders need in return and determine if that is feasible. » Develop goals and strategies that provide a framework to examine progress and adjust to conditions. » Seek commitment from key staff to see the organization through its development period. » Complete research on competition (other organizations with similar or overlapping missions), strategic partnerships, service gaps, and audience/market perceptions during the design phase. » Do not implement until ready and then set standards very high. That builds credibility
Katy Ruiz E Source A Tale of Two Cities: Marketing Energy Efficiency Programs to “Red” and “Blue” Customers in Colorado Segmentation is a critical determinant of which messages about efficiency resonate with different individuals. Political affiliation is an important component of some emergent segmentation studies, because the values associated with party identification will screen out or welcome specific messages about the benefits of efficiency. We can see the vital role of differential messaging and appeal of the benefits of efficiency playing out in Colorado. The state of Colorado has swung Democratic in the last two elections, but there are vast political gulfs dotting the landscape at the ground level. In the colorful parlance of recent political history, the city of Fort Collins, is a “bright blue” Democratic stronghold north of Denver, while 130 miles to the south, Colorado Springs is a “dark red” jurisdiction dominated by conservative voters. Both of these cities are home to municipal utilities (munis) with active efficiency and solar programs. However, their emphasis is different: Fort Collins has 16 active programs (7 commercial, 6 residential, and 3 for all sectors) while Colorado Springs has 11 programs with only three programs tailored for residential customers. How do these munis communicate with their customers about efficiency, renewables, and even climate change, and get them interested in participation? What distinguishes the “red” and “blue” approaches? What topics are hot and what’s off the table for customers with distinct value sets? This comparative study will use interview research and messaging analysis, program participant profiles and savings result to determine what messaging (and related techniques) works for red and blue customers in Colorado’s Front Range. These results may lead to successful strategies for other utilities and program administrators who need find messages that resonate across the “spectrum” of customer values.
Nicole Sintov University of Southern California, Information Sciences Institute New directions in Goal Setting: The Effects of Action Planning on Electricity Conservation New directions in goal setting: The effects of action planning on electricity conservation Nicole D. Sintov, Ashley Angulo, Stephanie Vezich, and Noah J. Goldstein Much research has documented the positive effects of goal setting and commitment interventions on energy conservation (for review, see Abrahamse et al., 2005). However, the path from setting a goal to achieving the desired outcome is quite complex. Although not much empirical work has examined the psychological and behavioral changes that occur between the time an individual sets an energy conservation goal and when he or she achieves it, a number of theoretical models shed light on the overall process. According to the Transtheoretical Model (Prochaska and DiClemente, 2005), individuals move through several “stages of change” when pursuing a behavior change goal. Along this path is the preparation stage, which is roughly the time at which individuals develop specific plans for achieving a goal. This often involves breaking the goal down into discrete steps or behaviors. Similarly, The Goal Setting Theory of Motivation posits that following goal setting, the path to goal achievement includes implementation intentions, action planning, and skill acquisition (Locke & Latham, 2002). A notable area of overlap between these theories is that action planning falls on the path to goal achievement. Following from this, we hypothesized that facilitating this action planning step by assisting individuals in building a behavioral roadmap would enhance the success of a goal-setting intervention. The current project presents findings from a study investigating the effects of traditional goal setting intervention versus setting a goal in conjunction with action plan creation on home energy conservation. A total of 68 utility customers were recruited to participate in a home energy efficiency program. The participants completed baseline and follow-up self-report surveys. A customized website was designed and built to execute the intervention component of the experiment. The website offered a number of home energy management tools to all participants, including normative and personal historical electricity use feedback, virtual rewards, Demand Response Event alerts, and an audit tool. Additionally, participants were randomly assigned to one of two experimental groups. In the Simple Goal condition, participants set an energy reduction goal (e.g., reduce home energy use by 10%). In the Action Plan condition, participants not only set an energy reduction goal, but were also guided through a process whereby they selected from among a list of behaviors that they agreed to perform in order to achieve their goal. Several weeks later, all participants were contacted and asked to log in to the website to check whether they had achieved their goals. The findings provide a more nuanced understanding of the goal achievement process and offer insights for improving goal-setting interventions. Future research should explore the independent contributions of action plan creation versus the provision of feedback on adherence to action plans on energy conservation.
Lisa Skumatz Skumatz Economic Research Associates What Drives Program Uptake? Looking Beyond Savings to Bundles of Features: Latest in Non-Energy Benefits (NEBs) and Indirect Impacts The simple fact is that households and businesses are complicated entities, and they make decisions about program participation based on more than just direct savings. Why has this been so hard for energy utilities and other agencies to understand, assimilate, and act on? This paper addresses findings / examples and best methods for refining our approach to achieve better behavioral and program adoption outcomes – and consequently, higher benefit-cost values for energy efficiency and other “green” programs. Year after year, energy programs market energy efficiency programs on energy savings. Recycling programs and water agencies focus on bill savings. These utilities focus on selling what the program agencies want to sell – energy savings, recycling tons, and gallons of water. They have not tended to focus on marketing what the customer wants to buy – what drives the customer. This ignores the basic behavioral economic model that notes customers make decisions based on “bundles” of features. There are two key reasons this seems to occur. • Indirect effects are more difficult to measure than direct savings. • Marketing in energy and other “green” services has tended to be populated by firms that are not the same that do product merchandising, and they may be less familiar with more robust underlying research on motivations / motivators. The paper is divided into three sections: • Best practices for measuring indirect program effects – focused on the latest developments in non-energy benefits; • Case studies and results on key motivators based on this research, including examples from both residential and commercial energy efficiency programs, as well as a commercial recycling program, and a military energy and recycling program. • Implications for benefit-cost results, marketing, and other recommendations and implications moving forward. Measurement: There has been extensive research testing more than eight methods of measuring indirect participant-side program effects, including willingness to pay/accept, contingent valuation, labeled magnitude scaling, among other approaches. Based on a review of more than 100 papers, we summarize the “state of the literature” – both academic and practicing – in best practices for this estimation work. The paper covers the basics of each technique, its academic foundations, strengths and weaknesses of each approach. We look at participation modeling using these factors – and where the literature is “tending”, and how measurement lessons apply beyond energy. Case Studies: The paper provides results on the leading factors that attract participants to four programs, based on detailed measurement and estimation work. The results show the most attractive features from residential weatherization and appliance programs; a commercial motors program; an energy / water / recycling program offered in the military, and a recycling program that showed a 10:1 benefit cost ratio when auxiliary impacts were introduced into the picture. Policy and Implementation Implications: We summarize the current treatment of non-energy benefits by energy utilities and regulatory agencies around the country. We also summarize the role that indirect effects take in traditional marketing and market research, and how energy, recycling, and other agencies might better apply lessons to achieve higher program uptake. Finally, we summarize best practices in measuring and using indirect effects to motivate program participation and improved “green” behaviors.
Sam Starks MLK 365 Community Relations ABSTRACT The effects of climate change will disproportionately impact low-socioeconomic status and non-white households. Yet, there remains little emphasis in the research and policy arenas and in the energy and utility sectors focused on climate mitigation practices and adaption strategies specifically for these communities. Likewise, the localized knowledge and community assets germane to effectively responding to climate challenges for these impacted communities remains mostly unexplored, leaving the climate change debates for the scholars, politicians or those working in the energy and utility sectors. This proposed presentation will explore issues related to this conundrum, such as: What are the perspectives of climate change as viewed by predominately non-white community organizations, utility practitioners and other social service providers within the Sacramento, California region? How might a non-white perspective influence transformative behavioral and attitudinal changes? In what ways can race and poverty influence climate change policy and leadership behavior in low-socioeconomic communities? While a few recognized non-white practitioners, leaders, and policymakers call attention to climate change concerns within diverse communities, most of the voices in the discussion come from a white male perspective. The non-white voices’, including both service recipient and provider, have yet to have a poignant discernible impact on California climate policy and energy and utility sector programming. Thus, climate changes and the effects especially for low-socioeconomic and diverse communities impends immediacy in actions of leadership and habits of the mind. Keywords: Climate Change, Low-socioeconomic Status, Race, Behavior and Attitude Change
Nikolaus Starzacher Discovergy GmbH Reducing Electricity Consumption and Maximizing Self-Consumption – Lessons from Germany Reducing electricity consumption and maximizing self-consumption – lessons from Germany by Nikolaus Starzacher, CEO of Discovergy GmbH As of April 2013, there were more than 1.1m rooftop solar installations among Germany’s 40 million households. Production cost for a new solar installation is 12 cents / kWh, the feed in tariff is 16 cents / kWh while the average purchase price of residential electricity is 24 cents / kWh. It is therefore 3 times more profitable ((24-12) / (16-12)) and generates 50% higher revenues (24 / 16) to self-consume electricity than feeding it into the grid. From the consumer’s perspective, grid parity has been reached. In Germany, customers can choose their electricity supplier and their metering operator independently of their local grid operator. Discovergy is such a utility independent metering operator. Through advanced smart metering systems, we offer our customers real-time monitoring and feedback on their electricity consumption and production levels. Using real-time data with 2-second granularity, we are able to reliably identify the most relevant appliances by their consumption patterns: How much do they consume? Are they running efficiently? Many customers have been able to reduce their electricity consumption by 10% and more, all with minimal impact on their daily routine and quality of life. This was achieved by • reducing stand-by and always-on consumption • turning-off lights and appliances when they are not being used • replacing inefficient appliances such as old fridges, pumps, light bulbs, etc. • identifying inefficiently working appliances such as iced fridges, clogged pumps, etc. We calculate that the economic benefits of smart metering outweigh the costs for all households with an annual consumption of 2500 kWh and above. Furthermore, we demonstrate how we simultaneously visualize production and consumption data to inform behavioral decisions such as: What appliance should I run / turn off to maximize self-consumption? What is the optimal time to use an appliance? We expect to be able to increase self-consumption (as percentage of the total consumption) by 10% and more for a typical household – again with minimal impact on daily routine and quality of life. We calculate that the economic benefits from increased self-consumption outweigh the additional costs of smart metering for all households with an annual consumption of 5000 kWh and above. Considering that monitoring solar production through smart metering is also the most efficient method of detecting faults and degradation in solar installations, the breakeven point is likely to be much lower. We investigate what types of benchmarking and social comparison can improve results even further and how to maintain high levels of user engagement and energy efficient behavior over the long run. We briefly discuss the privacy implications of collecting highly granular smart meter data and how to proactively address privacy concerns by giving customers full ownership and control of their data.
Ellen Steiner Energy Market Innovations Big Data: The Human Perspective An IBM report on Big Data mentions, “Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.” Much of this data is created by each individual’s data footprint, which is the data trail left by an individual’s interactions in the digital environment. Hidden in this immense volume of data are new insights that either could not be practically discovered in the past or involved hypotheses that had not been developed to drive the pertinent analyses. Analyzing Big Data provides significant opportunities to drive customer insights regarding behavior and decision-making. Forbes in September of 2012 stated, “The hottest tech trend of the year is Big Data.” An abundance of definitions for this much-hyped term have been discussed. Traditionally, these definitions have included elements related to: the massive amounts of data that can be analyzed, the variety of the types of data that can be assessed, including both structured and unstructured data, and the speed at which the data can be generated, collected and analyzed. In other words, to use the definition put forth by Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt, in the Human Face of Big Data, Big Data is “the real time collection, analyses, and visualization of vast amounts of information.” The power of big data is just beginning to be explored in the energy industry. The granularity of energy consumption information that is available through advanced meters is enormous compared to that of ten years ago. The ability to combine these data with other data sets to uncover deeper insights is monumental including how and when customers consume energy, what new energy savings products would resonate with a particular customer segment and which approaches with which audiences should be used to drive persistence of energy savings behaviors. While these opportunities are exciting, many policy issues and challenges must be grappled with. These include questions about data governance, data security, data ownership, data access, and data confidentiality issues. These issues are especially complex in a regulatory environment. As the TechAmerica Foundation stated in their report Demystifying Big Data: A Practical Guide to Transforming the Business of Government, “In recent years, federal, state, and local governments have come to face a tidal wave of change as a result of the drastic increase in the sheer volume, variety and velocity of data within their own enterprise and across the government ecosystem…The impact of this phenomenon to business and government is immediate and inescapable.” This paper will discuss findings from a policy analysis regarding policy trends in how these human policy issues and challenges are being addressed at the national, state and local levels, including highlighting specific examples such as the Energy Data Center that is being considered by the California Public Utility Commission and the Federal Big Data Research and Development Initiative launched in 2012.
James Stewart The Cadmus Group Can We Count on Demand Savings from Residential Behavioral Energy Efficiency Programs? Evidence from PPL’s OPower Behavior and Education Program Energy efficiency advocates have praised residential behavioral energy efficiency programs as new and inexpensive means of achieving energy savings. Studies show these programs can save 1-3% of consumption. However, little is known about whether behavioral programs have a similar potential when it comes to demand savings. Since most utilities still do not yet employ hourly AMI meters at residential customers’ dwellings, it is often not possible to discern demand savings trends during peak hours. This paper estimates the peak electricity demand savings from PPL Electric’s Behavior and Education Program (implemented by Opower) during the summer of 2012. The program mails approximately six reports with personalized energy use analysis and energy saving tips annually to 100,000 PPL residential customers with hourly AMI meters chosen as part of a randomized control trial. The main research questions of the study were: (1) What were the demand savings in the top 100 hours of PPL Electric’s system demand in 2012? (2) When did the demand savings occur, that is, in what hours and days of the week were demand savings the greatest? (3) How sensitive were demand savings to temperature and humidity and demand for space cooling? (4) How are demographic characteristics such as income and education and dwelling characteristics such as home size correlated with demand savings? Cadmus and PPL collected hourly energy use data for 10,000 treatment group homes and 10,000 control group homes with AMI meters between June 2012 and September 2012. Using panel regression analysis, we estimated the average home demand savings in each hour of the study period. This analysis yielded estimates of the demand savings in PPL Electric’s top 100 system demand hours and a distribution of savings across hours of the study period. The average demand savings in the top 100 hours was about 0.07 kW per home, or 6.5 MW in aggregate for 100,000 customers. Cadmus and PPL are still analyzing the correlation between demand savings and weather, the hour of the day, and demographic and dwelling characteristics. In a number of states utilities are required to meet peak demand savings targets in addition to energy savings targets. While it is generally thought that behavior programs do generate demand savings, little research has been done to empirically estimate these savings, largely because of a lack of availability of energy use data at the hourly level. Our study demonstrates that residential behavior programs, if properly designed, can generate significant demand savings.
Tai Stillwater UC Davis What Features Make In-Home Energy Displays Useful to Occupants? Energy feedback in-home energy displays (IHEDs) and web interfaces allow residents to monitor their energy use at home or check their energy use remotely. They are increasingly being developed, produced and offered in the market as a tool to reduce energy consumption and energy waste by residential users. Past research on displays shows a wide range of effectiveness rates in producing energy savings, which may partly depend on the ease of use of specific devices and on their different available features such as feedback format, information and content provided, ability to set individual goals, comparisons of energy use with other users or past use, etc. The usability of these displays, that is, the ability of occupants to perform certain tasks and successfully extract information, has not been explicitly examined. However, similar studies of usability in thermostats have revealed high rates of failure. This study examined, in controlled experimental conditions, users’ reactions and responses to simulated energy feedback interfaces that are representative of devices available on the market. The energy feedback interfaces used in the study were abstracted from a heuristic expert evaluation of representative market devices, and correspond to varying levels of complexity. Experiment participants responded to questions used to gauge their ability to retrieve basic information, put that information in a meaningful energy use context, and use that information to make energy use decisions. We found that: 80% of subjects enjoyed trying out the IHED, and would like to have one at home. However, only 20% were seriously interested in buying one, and only 22% thought that the device was worth at least $100. 70% of subjects could correctly answer questions about the instantaneous power draw based on a numerical value, but only 30% could correctly answer questions about monthly data using a chart. This indicates that both clarity of design and user education will play an important role in the success of IHEDs. Social (similar neighbor) information was successful in creating a performance norm that subjects used to evaluate the house. However, in an evaluation of social information, subjects had mixed responses to it, and 40% reported that they did not like it or find it useful. Direct evaluations of many common energy metrics showed that subjects preferred financial metrics (current cost and budgetary information) by a wide margin over energy data or social information. An ad-hoc usability measure indicated that some display styles are much more effective than others. In general the added complexity of diagnostic information and social information was worth the additional effort required to extract the information. The usability measure also showed that the addition of diagnostic information makes social comparisons less important to the overall usability. Social information showing that the household was using less energy than the neighbors consistently cause subjects to reduce their motivation to take action, and also led to a decrease in usability.
Rachael Terada Center for Resource Solutions Signing Up Customers for Renewable Energy: Insights on What Works Abstract not available.
K H Tiedemann BC Hydro Residential Behavioural Savings Residential Behavioural Savings Introduction and Approach: Research on energy savings in residential dwellings has been dominated by an engineering economics paradigm, in which economic agents adopt practices and technologies which are cost effective. This paper challenges this paradigm and reports on a detailed behavioral study done with residential customers. Using data collected from a survey of 1,000 residential customers, we apply the concern, capacity and conditions model which argues that conservation and energy efficiency adoption depend on: (1) the customer’s level of concern around energy efficiency; (2) the customer’s capacity to act; and (3) the conditions and constraints surrounding that action. Results: The model was applied to seven residential energy end uses: (1) indoor lighting; (2) refrigeration; (3) washing appliances; (4) air conditioning; (5) space heating; (6) refrigeration and (7) home entertainment. In each area, respondent were asked a series of scaled questions dealing with their level of concern about the service level for the end use (such as lighting levels or temperatures); their ability to modify or change service levels; motivators and barriers to performing energy efficient actions or practices; and the extent to which they performed energy efficient actions or behaviors (three or more possible actions for each end use). The study found that temperature setback, draft proofing, installing storm windows, use of high efficient lamps, turning off lights in unused areas, air drying dishes, air drying clothes, refrigerator and freezer temperature control, defrosting refrigerators and freezers, and turning off unused computers and entertainment equipment were particularly effective means of saving energy in residential dwellings.
Verena Tiefenbeck ETH Zurich The Power of Real-Time Feedback: Evidence from Randomized Trials with 50,000 Showers This field experiment investigates contextual factors to better reap the full potential of consumption feedback information to achieve a high and persistent impact on user behavior and awareness. Over the past years, several large scale programs have been implemented that build on nonmonetary incentives to reduce energy consumption in buildings, e.g. neighborhood comparisons. Powerful contextual factors shaping behavior, however, such as social dynamics within households or user self-perception, have remained untapped. Conservation efforts often focus on visible areas such as lighting, yielding relatively little impact (mostly low-single digit savings) or even adverse environmental outcomes. Areas with a high environmental impact of behavior change, however, are often ignored. Hot water usage, for instance, is the second largest residential energy end use, but has hardly been studied as a potential area for energy savings. Hot water usage offers an ideal domain for research on behavior change. Instant feedback on hot water consumption can be presented directly at the point of use, i.e., at the faucet or in the shower, and thus can provide individuals with specific, instantaneous and actionable feedback information. The effects of actions are immediately visible, the user can easily control outcomes, and the impact is easy to quantify. For that purpose, we developed an energy-autarkic shower display that provides users with in-situ real-time information on their shower behavior. In a randomized controlled field study, three different versions of the device were distributed to 697 Swiss households in December 2012. After a baseline period, participants received direct feedback on their shower behavior, based on their experimental group. All devices measured and recorded temperature, water and energy usage, shower duration, interruptions and flow rate of every shower taken. After two months, 95% of the devices were recollected and read out, providing data on nearly 50,000 shower sessions. Each dataset was supplemented with survey data. The aim of this study is to identify contextual factors that improve the effectiveness of behavioral interventions for energy savings. In a 3(device version) x 2(singles vs. families) research design, we test to what extent social pressure and competition within households can be leveraged to increase user engagement. The study also investigates whether gender-specific differences are present in the adoption of this novel feedback technology and the persistence of effects, as information systems literature suggests. Moreover, users’ stated willingness to conserve and their self-reported savings performance are compared with actual data recorded by their devices, questioning the validity of various studies that use the intention to use as a proxy for actual savings. This empirical study represents the world’s largest dataset on household shower behavior. The generated insights are highly relevant for feedback intervention design and successful implementation of smart metering and data-based conservation campaigns in general. Beyond that, the results contribute to ongoing debates in the social science and information systems literature.
Annika Todd Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Can “Big Data” Live Up to the Hype? Benefits and Limitations of “Big Data” for Program Evaluation of Energy Savings and Persistence The rollout of smart meters in the last few years has provided new forms of previously unavailable energy data. Energy data for residential and small commercial customers that used to contain one energy data point per month can now include hourly interval data (more than 700 observations per month), or even 15 minute interval data. This data is often now available much more quickly than previously, with many utilities able to provide energy usage data within hours or days after it is recorded. In addition to interval data, there is now also the capability to observe information through web-based services that were previously not available, such as text analysis of social media, page view data from utility educational websites, backlight data from in home displays that indicate how often people access the IHD, web-scraping of appliance pricing data, building data from places like Google earth, and survey data from Amazon Mechanical Turk. These newly available, vast streams of rich datasets have achieved the level of the commonly used buzz word “big data.” These data have the potential to provide cheaper, more accurate, and more representative evaluations of how well energy efficiency, demand response, and on-site renewable energy programs are working; and improve program implementation by segmenting, targeting, and tracking. However, this “big data” also has limitations and potential pitfalls. If the program is designed in such a way that the underlying data will result in a biased estimate of program effectiveness, then more data will not solve the underlying problem (e.g., more data cannot replace well designed, randomized controlled trials). It may result in an estimate that misleadingly appears to be more robust and precise but is still biased, possibly leading to skewed perspectives on how well programs work and misinformed policy decisions. This study will provide econometric analysis of novel datasets from behavior-based programs and use examples from existing reports to highlight a few key areas in which big data has the potential to provide insights. (1) Can we use “big data” to identify the behaviors that consumers adopt in response to EE and DR programs, and the persistence of these behaviors? • What actions consumers are taking in response to behavior-based, EE, and DR programs (e.g., turning off the lights or buying CFLs), and • How long these actions are likely to persist (e.g., do consumers form habits, or do their actions only last a few days)? (2) Can “big data” identify successful program candidates? (3) Can “big data” make EM&V cheaper, easier, and more accurate? (4) Can “big data” enable a new gold standard for program evaluation design?
Timothy Treadwell CCSE California’s Evolving PEV Market California’s plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market is expanding rapidly. In the last year alone, monthly applications for state vehicle rebates have grown more than 10 fold, from approximately 200 in March 2012 to over 2,300 in March of this year. During this period the market has not only grown in size, but evolved in its composition from one dominated by full battery electric vehicles (BEVs), such as the Nissan Leaf, to one that consists of 50% plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), like the Plug-in Prius and Chevy Volt. This expansion in overall adoption and shift in vehicle composition raises important new questions for policy makers and researchers. Is the demographic profile of PEV owners shifting? What information channels are driving diffusion as the market expands beyond the innovators? Do BEV and PHEV owners require the same level of charging infrastructure? Do PHEV owners respond differently to electric vehicles tariffs given their fueling options? To better understand these issues, the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), in collaboration with UC Davis and UT Austin, is conducting a longitudinal study of PEV owners. This research provides valuable insight into a number of factors effecting PEVs in California, from the mechanics of electric vehicle adoption, to the use and perception of charging infrastructure, to vehicle use and consumer satisfaction. The project team will present results from the third round of survey data, focusing on: 1) the evolving nature of vehicle composition and customer demographics; 2) PEV diffusion, including information channels, financing options and peer effects; 3) charging behavior and willingness to pay; and 4) the use of charging infrastructure and the effects of infrastructure deployment of vehicle use.
Bryan Urban Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems Improving Programmable Thermostat Usage With Less Aggressive Default Setbacks A large portion of programmable thermostats are operated manually, thus defeating their energy saving capabilities. But why does this occur? Our hypothesis is that default energy-saving programs may be too aggressive and uncomfortable, and this leads users to permanently override the unpleasant program out of frustration. If the hypothesis is correct, then thermostats that ship with overly aggressive default “energy-saving” schedules may be doing more harm than good. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a two-year study of nearly 100 apartment units during the heating season, providing all units with programmable thermostats. In each unit we recorded air temperature and heating equipment cycling events to infer thermostatic setpoints, program schedules, and manual overrides. We recorded gas consumption for each unit on a weekly basis. At the experiment’s conclusion, we manually recorded each thermostat’s program settings. During the first year, thermostats were deployed using default, aggressive temperature schedules (62°F setback, 70°F setup). Consistent with prior studies, the vast majority of households operated their thermostats manually. Average room temperatures were well above the default settings, averaging 72°F from midnight to 4am on nights the outdoor temperature fell below freezing. During the second year, the thermostats were reprogrammed with less aggressive and more comfortable schedules (68°F setback, 70°F setup). Our hypothesis is that the greater comfort provided by theses savings will significantly reduce schedule overrides, increasing realized energy savings. In this talk we will present the outcome of this two-year study.
Pieter Valkering VITO Smart Consumers, Customers, Citizens: Connecting End-Users to the Grid End users will play a crucial role in up-coming smart grids that aim to link end-users and energy providers in a better balanced and more efficient electricity system. The success of smart grids depends on appropriate active load and demand side management facilitated by appropriate technologies, requiring end user, market and political acceptance. However, current smart grid pilot projects typically focus on technological learning and not so much on learning to understand consumer needs and behaviour in a connected living environment. Nor is there a comprehensive view on the more active (market) positions consumers and enterprises may occupy in future energy/electricity value chains. The key question thus remains: how to involve end-users in smart grid projects so as to satisfy end-user needs and stimulate active end-user participation, thereby realizing as much as possible the potential of energy demand reduction, energy demand flexibility, and local energy generation? The European S3C project addresses this question by investigating the end-user interaction schemes of smart grid projects. These schemes refer to the collection of tools and methods adopted to facilitate the interaction of end-users (households and SMEs) with the project partners, the electricity grid, and the energy market, typically integrating technological (e.g. smart metering, automatic control), financial (e.g. monetary incentives, market models), and end-user engagement dimensions (e.g. customer awareness initiatives, information sessions, marketing methods). Crucially, it differentiates among three key potential end-user roles: ‘Consumer’ (a rather passive role primarily involving energy saving and automated flexibility in demand), ‘Customer’ (a more active role offering user driven flexibility in demand and micro-scale energy production), and ‘Citizen’ (the highest level of engagement where end-user communities become themselves responsible for their own energy system based on local resources). Within this context, this paper aims to deliver a coherent view on current good practice in end-user interaction in smart grid projects. To this end, theoretical insights from sustainable consumption behaviour, social marketing and innovation systems are reviewed to create an inventory of common motivators, enablers and barriers of behavioural change, and the end-user engagement principles that can be derived from that. Drawing from practical experiences of recent smart grid projects – for example on innovative tariff structures and monetary incentives, communication and engagement strategies, and privacy issues – these general principles are translated to the specific contexts smart grid projects provide. Consequently, we argue for each one of the three typical end-user roles which principles of end-user interaction should be considered good (or bad) practice. We conclude with identifying current gaps in knowledge, and highlight promising approaches for end-user engagement that require further testing, as input for a research agenda on end-user involvement in smart grids.
Joe Van Clock Research Into Action Will you [complete a comprehensive home energy upgrade,] my neighbor? A review of neighborhood-based approaches to promoting whole-house energy upgrades The residential sector uses 22% of the energy consumed in the United States every year, however, this consumption results from billions of decisions among millions of households. Reducing residential sector energy use requires programs to influence residential customers en masse to take specific action. Community-based Social Marketing (CBSM) strategies have successfully brought about this type of behavior change in areas like composting and recycling. To achieve the level of energy savings necessary to meet aggressive energy savings goals, many jurisdictions have turned to whole house retrofits, which promise deep energy savings through improvements to both the building shell and building systems. Programs across the country have adopted a range of CBSM strategies to promote whole house upgrades. A subset of these programs uses CBSM strategies to influence social diffusion by promoting whole house upgrades through focused outreach in targeted neighborhoods. These programs seek to leverage the influence of homeowners on their neighbors’ behavior and facilitate the whole house upgrade process through economies of scale generated by treating multiple homes in a concentrated area. Other types of efficiency programs, including Solarize Portland, the City of San Jose Whole Neighborhood Approach pilot, and California’s statewide Low Income Energy Efficiency Program have demonstrated that neighborhood targeting can be successful in promoting solar installations and direct install services. However, programs promoting whole house upgrades face unique challenges in that the behavior they promote is expensive and largely invisible to others. The author is part of teams conducting both a broad, national evaluation of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program (BBNP) and a more targeted evaluation of BBNP-funded programs in California. Together, this research has included a review of programs in Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Sacramento, Michigan, and Portland, Oregon that have used neighborhood targeting as a strategy to promote whole house upgrades. Each of these programs has taken unique approaches to neighborhood outreach and streamlining energy upgrade offerings. By examining the approaches each jurisdiction has taken to neighborhood targeting and the results they have achieved, this paper will identify the tactics most effective in driving social innovation and the market conditions necessary for their success.
Ursula Vogler CA Metropolitan Transporation Commission Smart Driving Pilots In 2011, MTC conducted market research to identify transportation behavior(s) with both the greatest potential to be altered and the greatest potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The firms completed both primary and secondary research, including a random telephone poll of Bay Area residents. This research determined that smart driving — or changes in driving behavior and/or vehicle maintenance to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency — is the transportation behavior with both the greatest potential greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction and also the greatest likelihood to be adopted by the campaign’s target audience. In order to determine the effectiveness of smart driving behaviors, MTC has developed a smart driving pilot. The pilot is being implemented in two phases. The first with 60 pilot participants divided into two 30 person groups: one will receive both elements outlined below, the other group will only receive the second element. 1) In-vehicle devices, using miles per gallon (MPG) savings devices that will be installed into participants’ vehicles, displaying MPG information for vehicle acceleration and deceleration, and showing MPG savings in real-time; and 2) Educational elements, focusing on different smart driving tools, to try to encourage the targeted behavior (e.g., smooth acceleration/deceleration). Every two week, an email will be sent with a video and information. Use of social media will encourage communication between cohorts. The pilot will be evaluated for its ability to effect change in pilot participant’s behavior and, ultimately, reduce GHG emissions. This will be accomplished by collecting a pilot participant’s gas mileage through another device that will be installed on each pilot participant’s vehicle, and/or through self-reporting. The groups will be compared to one another to see if there is a variation in results. The second phase will incorporate any necessary changes and follow a similar implantation strategy. Evaluation data will be used to determine any potential future activities, including introducing the successful elements to the Bay Area public. The presentation will review the development, implementation and initial results of the pilots.
Max Wei Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Quantifying Cumulative Carbon Footprint Mitigation Opportunities Based on Key Life Decisions Carbon footprint calculators are widely used as a tool for education and awareness and can be used as the basis for behavior change programs. They provide a snapshot of the annual greenhouse gas emissions resulting from individual behavior and can model the impact of taking different actions, such as driving less or changing dietary habits. Recent research has shown that a small set of “life decisions” plays a decisive role in one’s personal emissions over the long term. These choices include what type of housing we live in, where we live, vehicle type, air travel habits, and dietary choice. To augment the capability of carbon footprint tools, we develop an integrated “carbon shadow” approach that provides an estimate of cumulative emissions as a function of a small set of these key life decisions. We focus on the Bay Area as a illustrative example but the approach can be extended to other geographies. For different combinations of key life decisions we calculate the cumulative carbon impact under three different future energy system scenarios (“status quo” energy system; “cleaner” energy system; and “clean energy” system) and compare the impact of these choices to more traditional energy savings measures, such as retrofitting your residence, reducing vehicle miles travelled and reducing consumption. Understanding which life decisions make the biggest carbon impact may be useful to help focus behavior change policies and programs on actions that make the most long term difference, and to help educate future generations to avoid the greenhouse gas intensive lifestyles of previous generations.
Donna Whitsett Energy Market Innovations, Inc. Persistence of Energy Efficiency Behaviors over Time: Evidence from a Community-Based Program Rather than providing incentives for the one-time purchase of technologies, behavior change programs rely on low- or no- cost actions to save energy and reduce demand. These actions must be sustained over time in order to be effective. Therefore, understanding the persistence of energy-saving actions is critical to incorporating behavior change programs into utility energy efficiency program portfolios. Unfortunately, there are few studies that have examined persistence of energy-saving actions over time. This presentation and paper will provide new results from an evaluation of a community-based energy efficiency program showing sustained energy efficiency behaviors over a one-year time frame. Actions were sustained despite limited follow-up and no financial incentives. The program, which is designed to encourage community members to commit to saving energy by signing a pledge form, uses a multi-pronged approach to reach out to as many community members as possible, and reinforces messages by relying on a variety of marketing efforts. These efforts include mass marketing, outreach at community events, and contests. Using a panel study with a random sample of pledgees, evaluators were able to ask pledgees about their energy-savings behaviors three times over the course of one year. Results showed that participants conducted low-cost and no-cost actions, and they sustained these actions over time. Participants most commonly reported taking the following actions since pledging: switching off lights, switching of electronics, installing energy efficient lights, changing thermostat settings, and using a clothesline rather than a clothes dryer. Respondents who could recall their pledge were more likely to conduct their pledged action compared to those respondents who could not recall their pledge. Furthermore, “high recallers” completed a significantly higher proportion of pledged actions compared to “low recallers.” The presentation will describe the program model, present detailed results related to sustained behaviors over time, pose reasons for why participants sustained their actions over time, and offer recommendations to attendees on how to encourage persistence within their own behavior change programs. The authors also offer recommendations for setting up tracking systems early in the program launch to facilitate a more detailed understanding of pathways to program participation and behavior change.
Elizabeth Wilson Humphrey School of Public Affairs Assuming Consumer Behavior and Energy Use Across Competing Visions of Smart Grid The term “Smart Grid” is increasingly being used in discussions of electricity production, distribution and consumption, but this phrase has very different meanings to different key actors. Analysis of different visions and articulations of the term “Smart Grid” in a comparative regional study across three electricity transmission regions within North America (Texas, the mid-west, and the northeast) reveals a diversity of stakeholder perspectives on whether, how, and why society should support a transition to a “Smart Grid” system and highlights very different assumptions on the role of “Smart Grid” and consumer energy use and behavior. This paper and presentation will draw on results from media analysis, policy analysis and focus groups of various electricity system stakeholders to map out a diversity of perceptions of “Smart Grid” and explore the implicit and explicit behavioral assumptions within different “Smart Grid” visions. This presentation will highlight the implicit and explicit cultural and behavioral components embedded within “Smart Grid” systems across energy system stakeholders and between regions of the U.S. Understanding the complexity of perspectives on the notion of “Smart Grid” among different actors in different regions and the assumptions about consumer energy behavior could facilitate movement toward a more unified and focused vision of change in electricity consumption, production and distribution and highlight new opportunities for system transition.
Catherine Wolfram UC Berkeley Encouraging Participation in a Free Energy Efficiency Program The Federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is the nation’s largest residential energy efficiency program. Borne out of the oil crisis in the 1970s, the program was created to reduce the energy burden of low-income Americans by installing energy efficiency measures in their homes. Although participating in the program requires no out-of-pocket costs, a very small fraction of income-eligible families apply for weatherization assistance. An even smaller fraction of eligible households actually receive it. If the selection among eligible households is non-random, this has potentially significant implications for both program effectiveness and program evaluation. We conduct a field experiment to shed light on the following questions: (1) Do non-financial barriers (information and process costs) significantly influence participation in the weatherization assistance program? (2) If yes, what are the implications for overall program effectiveness? Economists have long been concerned with the determinants of participation in social programs. In a review of this literature, Currie (2006) highlights the importance of so-called process costs and information costs. Applying for weatherization assistance involves substantial administrative hassle (i.e. rigorous documentation requirements, onerous paperwork, and a time consuming enrollment process). Importantly, because WAP is not an entitlement program, these information and process costs can play a significant role in rationing scarce resources. The literature that examines the take up of social programs typically models program participation as a one-shot utility maximizing decision. In fact, obtaining weatherization assistance is a much more complicated, multi-step process. Fortunately, we are able to observe households at nearly every stage of this process: expression of interest in the program, initiation of the application process, completion of the application; acceptance into the program; energy efficiency audit; weatherization. We specify and estimate a multi-stage model of the selection process. The model provides a framework for analyzing the determinants of success at each stage. We are particularly interested in understanding the role of information and process costs. We implement a field experiment in which a random subset of income-eligible households are educated about the weatherization assistance program and offered personal assistance with completing their application. Preliminary results indicate that this reduction in information and process costs significantly increases the application rate among presumptively eligible households. Other observable factors that are associated with higher application rates include age (elderly are less likely to initiate an application), gender (women are more likely to initiate an application), and receiving an above average (for the household) energy bill. In ongoing work, we are examining household-level decisions at subsequent stages of the participation process. Past studies have demonstrated that certain targeted groups are underrepresented among weatherized households. We are interested in identifying the precise stage in the process that differences in participation rates emerge. We will also test whether households we nudged into the applicant pool are more or less likely to succeed in completing subsequent steps required to receive weatherization assistance. Finally, our experimental research design facilitates a test of whether non-financial barriers serve to increase or decrease the extent to which weatherization assistance program goals are realized.
Nicole Woolsey Biggart University of California Theorizing Environmental Worlds: The Systems of Exchange Typology There are few areas of the economy that are subject to more profound differences of opinion than policies related to the environment, energy and natural resources generally. Disagreements are often based on fundamentally different premises about what is at stake, what constitutes legitimate action, who has the right to decide outcomes, and the costs – material and moral – that may be involved. The history of environmental policy has largely been rooted in a neoclassical economic paradigm that assumes the best collective outcomes are those that allow individual choice, where prices are arbiters of efficient decisions, and where relatively few social impediments are allowed to influence outcomes. These assumptions are increasingly being relaxed in economic models, for example recognizing the constraints of existing social institutions and the costs involved with pursuing some economic transactions versus others. However, an examination of recent claims on environmental policies and politics suggests that qualitatively different assumptions are being made by environmental advocates and claimants, assumptions in which economic rationality and price considerations are only part of the discourse or even absent entirely. This presentation argues that the Systems of Exchange (SOE) typology is a better way to conceptualize environmental policy debates and differences than seeing them as variations of self-interested behavior. Based on Systems of Exchange, a paper by Nicole Woolsey Biggart and Rick Delbridge that won the Academy of Management Review’s Best Paper Award in 2005, this presentation introduces the SOE typology to show how two simple assumptions that are empirically observed over time and globally creates more realistic premises from which to understand and influence environmental policy positions and prescriptions. The presentation uses examples from recent environmental and ecological debates to create more realistic analyses of social debates and claims on environmental policies. The cases include fracking, control over water resources, carbon taxes, and the retail price of energy. The Systems of Exchange typology of four qualitatively distinctive worldviews and exchange orientations creates a nuanced yet theoretically tractable basis from which both researchers and activists can develop effective understandings and arguments. The SOE website has recently included cases and blogs about environment, food, and natural resources and the presentation will draw from these and show how they can be used to advance environmental causes.
Barry Zalph Plan Z Gaining Community Support for Climate Protection Projects Innovators in business, government, and community groups have myriad practicable and potentially effective projects to mitigate climate change. Many such projects need additional resources (material, human, institutional, informational) to reach successful full-scale implementation. The communities addressed by these projects include many individuals concerned about climate change but unsure of how to help. This presentation will introduce a new style of public event, Ideas to Action, that connects innovators and their projects with community members who can provide resources and interest to help the projects come to fruition. The BECC community, working toward widespread adoption of behaviors that reduce human climate impacts, succeeds to the extent that we engage thousands of customers or community members in our programs. The enormity of likely impacts of anthropogenic climate destabilization leads many people to despair the value of individual actions. Ideas to Action highlights local actions and provides opportunities for individuals to participate in them. It builds hope by showing hopeful work in progress. Ideas to Action combines elements of PechaKucha brief presentations and Open Space Technology to create an environment for sharing information and building collaborations to strengthen existing projects and facilitate their success. It encourages collaborations ranging from one-time anonymous information sharing to long-term partnership. It provides a venue in which business and social entrepreneurs can receive feedback and build communities of interest at very low cost. This presentation will cover the structure and goals of Ideas to Action, the results of its first applications (in Louisville, KY USA), and plans for its refinement and wider use.
Dave Wolpa EnergySavvy Contractor Selection has Dramatic Impact on the Success of EE Programs Objective As utilities turn towards deeper upgrade programs like HVAC equipment improvements, weatherization and performance-based retrofits, a unique challenge persists: homeowners need to connect with contractors who can perform the work. How does a utility help homeowners connect with contractors while maintaining neutrality and managing to appropriate industry-accepted privacy practices? Concept and Results This session, based on actual data from energy efficiency programs run on EnergySavvy’s Optix software, compares the effectiveness of the most common baseline vs. three alternative methods to approach this problem. The findings show a dramatic difference in homeowner-to-contractor follow-up rate depending on the technique used make the connection. The methods include: • Listing all contractors • Limiting the choice to several contractors • Blind round robin • Recommending contractors Social psychology plays a key role in the effectiveness of each technique, drawing upon the phenomenon detailed in “The Paradox of Choice” (Barry Schwartz), namely: anxiety increases as consumers are presented with more options. Value to Audience This presentation will apply widely to utility and non-utility EE program managers and implementers. The important step of connecting customers with trade allies is a universal challenge. Sharing field results from different methods will help program managers increase those connections, leading to greater participation and ultimately more home retrofits.
Nada Petrovic Columbia University (Center for Research on Environmental Decisions) Framing the consequences of mitigation: Does health matter more than climate change? The US public consistently ranks climate change as a low national priority due, in part, to a lack of personal engagement and a sense of temporal and spatial distance from the environmental effects. Yet the chief method for climate change mitigation, the reduction of fossil fuel use, would also reduce air pollution, a cause of serious public health problems. One approach to enhancing climate change action is to emphasize other benefits of mitigation efforts, such as reducing present-day, health-related impacts, which may be a stronger motivator of behavioral change among individuals who are less concerned about environmental threats. Across three experiments, we examined whether framing the consequences of mitigation efforts in terms of public health versus climate change differentially influenced attitudes and behaviors related to emission mitigation. We predicted that health versus climate framing would interact with individuals’ pre-existing political orientation, and that public health framing would have a more positive connotation for conservative individuals. Results from Experiment 1 (N = 800) revealed that conservatives find health versus environmental impacts to be the more compelling reason for supporting fossil fuel reduction. However, a framing manipulation did not reveal a difference in concern or support for mitigation initiatives among those assigned to a frame stressing present-day health impacts compared to one stressing environmental impacts. To determine if the term “fossil fuel” had triggered this result, in Experiment 2 (N = 400) we examined the health frame alone, with and without the term fossil fuel. Results confirmed that the health frame was most effective among conservatives when emissions were referred to as “air pollution” in the absence of fossil fuel terminology, suggesting that the term fossil fuel can prime associations of climate change, and that the term itself has become politicized. In Experiment 3 (N = 800), we replicated the framing manipulation in Eperiment 1, omitting the term fossil fuel. Remarkably, results revealed that the new version of the framing experiment, while conceptually identical to Experiment 1, was not psychologically equivalent, as evidenced by a strong interaction between framing condition and political ideology. Among conservatives, framing emissions in terms of present day public-health consequences led to greater concern and greater support for mitigation initiatives than emphasizing environmental outcomes. The opposite pattern was observed among liberals, such that framing emissions in terms of climate change impacts was most effective. These striking results suggest that expanding the public discourse on climate change to include the health consequences of air pollution may be more likely to promote political support for mitigation policies from the conservative end of the spectrum. This research is the first to demonstrate that, depending on the audience, emphasizing how mitigation efforts will promote improved health may be more fruitful than highlighting the environmental effects of climate change. Critically, by focusing debate on the health impacts of emissions, the US public’s willingness to support fossil fuel reduction policies could be greatly enhanced.
Kate Zerrenner Environmental Defense Fund A Look at Texas’ Water and Electricity Shortages in the Face of Climate Change Texas is a state of extremes—from its personalities to its politics—and weather is no exception. The state is afflicted by droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fire and heat, and soon it will be facing both water and electricity shortages. As extreme weather events intensify, the state – and its citizens – needs to change its behavior to adapt to the future. Water and energy resources are currently strained in all parts of the state – rural and urban, east and west – and Texas’ current behavior will only exacerbate the problem. A report commissioned by the Electric Reliability Commission of Texas (ERCOT), the state’s independent grid operator, acknowledged that electric reserve margins will likely become obsolete by 2015. And jurisdictions across Texas, including those in formerly wet areas, are now piping in water, because their local reserves have been depleted. The State Climatologist predicts that the current climactic conditions will intensify in the coming years. Therefore, in the face of a multi-year drought, it is imperative to realize the “energy-water nexus,” or the connection between water, electric use and the need to preserve resources. The status quo of using water and electricity as infinite resources is no longer viable. This presentation will examine the steps the state (the legislature and state agencies) and local (San Antonio, Houston, Austin) communities undertook to address these impending shortages and offer solutions based on enhanced resource preservation that successfully aided other regions, states and countries. Solutions include economic incentives and innovative financing methods, improved collaboration between local, state and federal entities, enhanced communication techniques, behavioral change and top-down/bottom-up solutions. Finally, the presentation will present a modified model, using these proposed solutions, indicating how to best address these ideas for Texas’ extreme situation. This will hopefully serve as an example for other states that face similar resource issues, including drought conditions, low electric and water rates, conservative political bodies, tradition of industry-driven environmental policies and a lack of conservation tradition.
Mathieu Durand-Daubin Electricite de France – Recherche et Developpement Households activities and energy consumption through various lenses : mixing surveys, interviews, diaries, and sensors As part of the current quest to reduce energy demand in buildings, people behaviors are increasingly seen as one of the main factors driving households levels of consumption, making them potential levers for energy savings. As a result many programs aim at raising energy awareness in order to save energy. However, behaviors are complex objects; they can be described in many different ways, rather than by the mean of one unique measurement. Some studies focus on dedicated energy saving practices and the motivations behind, while some others address more global lifestyles and the resulting energy consumption; some measure overall consumption levels, when some others need to know when activities take place, and when energy is used. This work relies on data collected by the mean of a wide range of tools to describe the daily activities and energy consumption of a sample of 60 households in France. First, a global questionnaire covered demographics, building, appliances, general activities and energy saving practices. Then in-depth interviews were carried out to reveal detailed energy saving practices and motivations. Finally, households behaviors were described in real-time, during one week, by the mean of self completed diaries, listing all the activities undertaken in each room of the house and away from home, while sensors measured the electricity consumption of various appliances, rooms temperature, and other events. Crossing those various descriptions of the diversity of behaviors emanating from the same sample of households allowed us to demonstrate the consistency of our collection tools and the way they complete each others. On the one hand, the variety of dimensions described is large. There is no relationship between the energy awareness and the intensity of the household activities, the latest contributing to energy consumption, and being related to the family type, or stage in the life cycle. The detailed patterns of daily activities listed in the diaries do not give any information about how and why people do things, which is the major focus of the insights resulting from the interviews, making them complement each other. On the other hand, for several activities, the information collected in the questionnaire regarding the intensity of use and the type of equipment, proved consistent with the levels of activities and consumption monitored by the diaries and sensors. The association of these tools gave us the general frequency of use, context and possible patterns of use in time, and the related level of electricity consumption. Finally the richness of the information collected confirmed the many dimensions involved in the households behaviors, even if most of it could not be fully analyzed due to the small size of the sample. In the field of energy consumption modeling, our analysis supports the idea that focusing on dedicated energy saving practices will not help to understand the major drivers of energy consumption current diversity, which relate to more general lifestyle aspects and life cycle stages. In terms of methodology, this study shows that for some activities (i.e: watching TV), questionnaires can provide consistent information on the resulting level of energy consumption by household, while diaries provide reliable information about when this energy is consumed, supporting the use of the large scale and wide spread “time use surveys” to model the diversity of power demand in Europe and America.
Magali Delmas UCLA Health Incentives in Energy Conservation: A Residential Field Experient In a residential field experiment at a large family housing community in Los Angeles, we demonstrate the use of health-based messaging as a powerful incentive to reduce energy use in the home and promote conservation. Building a wireless sensor network, we give consumers real-time access to detailed, appliance-level information about their home electricity consumption-through a website and weekly e-mails accessible on mobile platforms. Our results, based on a panel of 440,059 hourly observations for 118 residences over 8 months show that health-based messages, which communicate the public health externalities of electricity production, outperform monetary savings information as a driver of behavioral change in the home. Participants who received messages emphasizing air pollution and health impacts associated with energy use reduced their consumption by 6% over the experimental period as compared to the control group. Health messaging was particularly effective on families with children, who achieved up to 19.5% savings. Participants who received a message informing them about monetary savings increased their consumption by almost 1%. Our research advances our knowledge of effective non-price incentives for energy conservation.
Banny Banerjee Stanford University A Comparison of Innovation Methodologies for Upstream and Downstream Behaviour Change Intiatives. The last decade has seen an increased attention to behavior change interventions directed at the environment and climate change problem. As a consequence, growing research communities contribute with increasingly detailed and sophisticated understanding of how behaviour can be affected. As this research originate from diverse disciplines and locations around the world, significant variations have emerged between different approaches. These variations are important since it affords the inquiry into appropriate selection of approaches for diverse classes of behavior change initiatives. The purpose of this study is to describe two of the emerging directions and to identify the key similarities and differences between them. One of the directions, often called “Design for Sustainable Behaviour” (DfSB), has received significant attention at several Universities in northern Europe, whereas the other direction is the “Large Scale Transformation Approach” by ChangeLabs at Stanford University, in the United States. The theoretical fundament for both the directions are largely similar, as both originate from product and service design, and are strongly informed by behavioural psychology, and behavioral economics. However, there are also significant differences between the two, which is apparent both in the processes and the type of tools they apply. By analysing a case study for each of the two directions, if becomes apparent that the core difference lies in the type of challenge each direction is most suited to tackle. DfSB is typically suited to tackle downstream challenges; where a specific unsustainable behaviour is identified and the goal is to find out how a product or service should be designed to change the behaviour in a more sustainable direction. The ChangeLabs approach is typically suited to tackle upstream challenges; where the starting point is the need to reduce an environmental impact and the entire situation of the target group is analysed to identify the interventions that have the largest potential to result in the required reductions. The conclusions from the analysis may help researchers and designers identify which direction is most valuable to support their particular projects and thereby inform their design in more efficient directions. In addition, by understanding the similarities and differences between the two directions, it becomes clear that the two directions may be complimentary and several of the specific tools across the two approaches may be beneficial to apply across a broad set of challenge classes.
Ted Reguly Sempra Utilities The Role of Behavioral Approaches in an Investor-Owned Utility Customer Experience Abstract not available.
Jack Yates University of Northern Iowa Four Small Towns Energy Reduction Competition Abstract not available.