Energy Conservation and Efficiency Resources

This section of the site provides quick access to case studies and helpful on-line social marketing resources for those who promote energy conservation and efficiency behaviors. We welcome suggestions for additional case studies and resources.

 

Latest News

Jan. 25, 2018 Updated Shower Conservation Case Study;  Three New Landmark Energy Conservation Case Studies, Two Runner-Ups
We've now posted the full case study (with handouts) for Shower Feedback in Switzerland. In addition, we've added short summaries of our three new Landmark energy case studies: Energy Star, Fort Collins Efficiency Works, and Ohm Connect's #OhmHour Program. Landmark designation recognizes programs and social marketing approaches considered to be among the most successful in North America and world-wide. We will be updating these case studies over the coming months, and adding the two runner-ups, Familles à énergie positive and PG&E's Step Up and Power Down - Commercial. Once posted, you will be able to scan and access these new case studies using the left hand column below.    |   See the full list.
Dec. 5, 2017 New Case Study Videos  
Missed the webinar? Got five minutes? We have a video for you. We are testing out how useful it is to produce short You Tube videos. Each video will summarize one Landmark case study in under five minutes ... short enough to show to others at Board, Council and other planning meetings. The first energy video covers Get Energized Iowa!, which was awarded our Landmark designation in 2015. While this videos is based entirely on the slide show delivered during the case study webinar, future videos will focus more on live video. Based on the reception to and use of these videos, we will decide if we will produce more. In addition, we have just posted two new case studies and one new resource. You can see the case studies in the left hand column below and the resource in the right hand column below.  Let us know what you think.
 

Most Recent Energy Efficiency Case Studies

Landmark Case Study Shower Feedback in Switzerland  Environment

The Shower Feedback program provides households with real-time feedback on one specific, energy-intensive behaviour: showering. Participants receive smart shower meters that display feedback on the individual’s energy and water consumption in the shower in real time. On average, participants cut their shower time by an average of roughly 20%, which reduced related water and energy consumption by about the same amount. This program was designated a Tools of Change Landmark case study in 2016. 

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Landmark Case Study Ohm Connect’s #OhmHour Program  Environment

Ohm Connect’s #OhmHour Program pays program participants to reduce their energy at peak times. On average, participants save100-200 kWh at peak times per year per household. While there have been a number of episodic energy efficiency programs in the past, this case study adds three innovative elements: a focus on peak demand with remarkable frequency, flexibility and precision; rich gamification features that encourage user participation; and an optional level of automation that was not available until the recent installation of smart meters and widespread availability of smart devices. Implementation requires no hardware to purchase or install. This case study was designated in 2017 and is currently under development.

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Landmark Case Study Fort Collins Efficiency Works (Neighborhoods).  Environment

In a pilot from the fall of 2015 to the fall of 2016, Fort Collins Utilities tested a new hybrid model of comprehensive home performance (HP) contracting to increase participation and energy savings. It offered a streamlined, turn-key service for homeowner that overcame key barriers to participation such as lack of time to select and meet with contractors, too many complex technical scope of work decisions, homeowner distrust of contractor proposals, and concerns about paying for improvements. The campaign also used a propensity model to target the neighborhoods with the highest potential for saving, and then direct mail marketing to neighborhoods with the highest propensity to participate. The pilot doubled enrollment rates, converted 44% of energy efficiency assessments to upgrades, and doubled average project energy savings. In 2017, this pilot received the American Public Power Association Energy Innovator award. This case study was designated in 2017 and is currently under development.

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Landmark Case Study Energy Star  Environment

ENERGY STAR is one of the most effective public sector voluntary behavior change programs in U.S. history. The program was designed with the goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the energy efficiency of products. ENERGY STAR sets national specifications for energy efficient products that are in the top 20% of efficiency for the product category. As efficiency in each product category improves, the specification moves up, encouraging continual improvement. Manufacturers that meet the specifications can use the ENERGY STAR label on products and in their marketing. Utilities can set rebate dollars based on a nationally accepted specification which makes it easy for manufacturers and retailers to participate in their rebate programs. Ultimately, consumers can easily identify products that are energy efficient when shopping. This case study was designated in 2017 and is currently under development.

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Energy+Illawarra  Environment

Energy+Illawarra is a community oriented strategic social marketing program with the aim of supporting home energy efficiency, comfort and wellbeing among 830 older, low-income people in the Illawarra, NSW, Australia.

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Duke Energy's Smart Energy in Offices Program  Environment

Duke Energy's Smart Energy in Offices program (SEiO) is one of the few behavioral programs targeting energy savings opportunities in large commercial office buildings. It encourages energy savings from improved energy efficient building operations and maintenance practices, and also from improved tenant and employee energy management and conservation practices.

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Landmark Case Study Bonneville Power Administration Energy Smart Industrial Energy Efficiency Program  Environment

The Bonneville Power Administration’s Energy Smart Industrial (ESI) energy management program has changed how large industrial facilities prioritize and manage energy. Through participation in ESI’s High Performance Energy Management (HPEM—now called Strategic Energy Management) program component, corporate leaders are encouraged to establish and communicate energy policies and goals, conduct regular reviews of energy performance metrics, and actively support energy efficiency improvement efforts. At the shop-floor level, HPEM/SEM impacts a broad range of behaviors and practices. Common improvements include the shutdown of idling equipment during non-production hours, implementing more energy efficient set points, and adopting enhanced preventative maintenance practices. Designated a Landmark case study in 2016.

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Girl Scouts GLEE Program  Environment

The Girls Learning Energy and Environment Program (GLEE) was designed to reduce home energy consumption as well as energy use related to food and transportation, among targeted Junior Girls Scouts (ages 9-10) and their families. It was developed and rigorously evaluated over six years with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-e program.

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Landmark Case Study Get Energized, Iowa!  Environment

Get Energized, Iowa! is a highly replicable community-based program that encouraged rural Iowa communities to compete against one another to achieve high gas and electricity savings, based on actual usage. 

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Cool California City Challenge  Environment

The Cool California Challenge is a state-wide competition between California cities engaging their residents in climate action. Participants earn points for tracking and reducing their electricity, natural gas and motor vehicle emissions and for simple one-time actions, like uploading photos and stories, inviting friends or taking a survey. Results from a quasi-experimental design suggest a 14% reduction in electricity use among program participants.

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Landmark Case Study LEED  EnvironmentHealth

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a tremendously successful program that engages builders and owners in designing, building, selling / buying and operating more energy-efficient buildings. It awards points for meeting targets and doing targeted behaviors like benchmarking and tracking energy and water consumption, using specific types of materials, and recycling waste materials. It has become the most used green building rating system out there, adopted in more than 150 countries and territories worldwide. The program received Landmark designation in 2015.

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Green Communities Canada’s Home Energy Retrofit Incentive and Home Visit Program  Environment

Making the housing stock more energy-efficient provides persistent and ongoing returns. However efforts to do so often run into obstacles that diminish program impacts. This program illustrates how to overcome many of these barriers, and how ongoing monitoring and evaluation can lead to program improvements over time. It’s also a great illustration of combining home visits with incentives for doing desired behaviours. Revised in September 2015.

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Landmark Case Study Power Smart Residential Behavioural Program  Environment

This program is a great example of applying a “loyalty group” approach to progressively engage participants in changing behaviours. Because electricity and electricity conservation tend to be a low priority for many British Columbians, BC Hydro has connected energy conservation to the things that people care about through an opt-in loyalty model and a focus on story-telling, co-creation, challenges and individualized feedback. Regular communications repeatedly drive participants back to their Members’ Tool Box, which serves as a ‘hub’. Ultimately, the product mix is designed to increase participant engagement levels on three dimensions: affiliation, (“this is who I am”), resonance (“this is right for me”) and enjoyment (“I like this”). Multi-year impact data.  Designated a Landmark case study in 2011.

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Landmark Case Study Opower’s Home Energy Report, Minnesota  Environment

This program is a great example of the use of ongoing individualized feedback and prompts, coupled with norm appeals. Opower helps individual utility companies to send customized home energy use feedback reports to their residential utility customers. The full-colour reports include a comparison with other similar households, offer tips and strategies to reduce energy use, and provide seasonal energy consumption information. A web portal offers personalized insights and tips, and tools for choosing an optimal energy rate plan. In addition, Opower offers utilities the opportunity to send text messages directly to customers to alert them when their energy consumption is high and offer ways to reduce it. Updated as of October, 2014.

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Way to Save Burlington!  Environment

The Way to Save, Burlington! pilot program was a community-based approach to marketing energy efficiency. Unlike many other community-based energy efficiency programs, no new measures were offered and existing rebate levels were not enhanced. The pilot increased active participation in existing conservation programs among all customer segments: residential, commercial, and industrial.

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Most Recent Energy Efficiency Resources

Longer-Lasting Actions and Responses to Extreme Events Can Have Great Impact  Environment

This paper links climate science and behavioural science, estimates the potential impact of behavioural programs, and predicts the three types of behavioural programs with the largest impact.

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How to Talk about Home Energy Upgrades  Environment

It's not just about money. People invest in home energy upgrades for a variety of reasons. This report explores these motivations and unveils, based partly on a representative survey of nearly 2,000 homeowners, the best strategies for encouraging them to invest in energy efficiency. Includes a tip sheet.

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Insights from Smart Meters: Ramp-Up, Dependability, and Short-Term Persistence of Savings from Home Energy Reports  Environment

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The impact of comics vs photographs on knowledge, attitude and behavioural intentions  EnvironmentHealthSafety

This study compares two modes of visually presenting information  – one using photographs and the other using cartoons – on audience’s knowledge, attitudes and behavioural intentions.

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(Energy) Behavior Change Programs: Status & Impacts  Environment

This report reviews the variety of energy behavior program options, and the degree to which they successfully change behavior and save energy.

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Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health  EnvironmentHealth

The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health publishes highly credible reports documenting the impacts of climate change on health.

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Is Eco-Friendly Unmanly? The Green-Feminine Stereotype and Its Effect on Sustainable Consumption  Environment

Why are men less likely than women to embrace environmentally friendly products and behaviors? Building on prior findings that men tend to be more concerned than women with gender-identity maintenance, this article argues that this green-feminine stereotype may motivate men to avoid green behaviors in order to preserve a macho image. It also shows that men's inhibitions about engaging in green behavior can be mitigated through masculine affirmation and masculine branding.

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Communicating Effectively with the Centre-Right about Household Energy-Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies  Environment

With a continuing political polarisation around climate change and energy issues, there is an urgent need to reflect the views of centre-right citizens accurately and to build communications around their values. This report presents the findings of the first rigorous qualitative research in Britain to explore these attitudes in detail. Based on our findings, we recommend seven principles for holding a productive conversation with people of centre-right values:

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The Effects of Feedback on Energy Conservation: A Meta-Analysis  Environment

This article analyzes past theoretical and empirical research on both feedback and proenvironmental behavior to identify unresolved issues, and utilizes a meta-analysis of 42 feedback studies published between 1976 and 2010 to test a set of hypotheses about when and how feedback about energy usage is most effective. Read More »

Program Impact Attribution  EnvironmentHealthSafety

This document provides a brief summary of options for assessing what portion of any measured behavior changes resulted from your program and what portion resulted from other influences. These options can also be used to attribute the affects of your program on a wide range of related variables such as resources used, pollutants released, accident rates and health status.

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Program Evaluation Methods; Measurement and Attribution of Program Results  EnvironmentHealthSafety

A good, detailed, freely accessible overview of program evaluation and attribution methods.

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Ramp-Up, Dependability and Persistence of Savings from Home Energy Reports  Environment

This US study finds that energy reductions from Home Energy Reports are statistically significant within two weeks and relatively stable in the short run. 

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Making Heat Visible: Promoting Energy Conservation Behaviors Through Thermal Imaging  Environment

Two British studies indicate the value of thermal imaging for making heat loss visible and changing behaviors.

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Centre for Climate Change Communications  EnvironmentHealth

Includes a climate change communication primer for public health professionals, and reports based on ongoing national surveys of Americans' climate change and energy beliefs, attitudes, policy support and behavior

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Long-Run Savings And Cost-Effectiveness of Home Energy Report Programs  Environment

This white paper addresses three primary questions about electricity savings from longer-running Home Energy Report programs and savings after the end of treatment.

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