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

November 4, 2018  Energy Connect Designated Landmark; Three More Case Studies
Energy Connect has just been designated a Landmark Case Study. Landmark designation recognizes programs and social marketing approaches considered to be among the most successful in North America and world-wide. See the full list. In addition, we've just posted two easily replicabale energy efficiency pilot program case studies. View the case studies using the left hand column below.
October 2, 2018  Three New Case Studies; Two New Resources
We've also posted the full case studies for one of our three new Landmark energy case studies: Fort Collins Efficiency Works. We are nearing completion of  the case studies on Energy Star and Ohm Connect's #OhmHour Program. We've also recently added the write-ups for France's Familles à énergie positive program, and added two new topic resources. See the new case studies using the left hand column below, and the resources using  the right hand column below.
September 10, 2018 New Case Study Videos  
We are nearing completion of the five minute summary videos for last year's Landmark case studies, and we have one available from the year before. 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 that videos is based entirely on the slide show delivered during the case study webinar, this year's and future productions 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. Let us know what you think.
 

Most Recent Energy Efficiency Case Studies

Landmark Case Study Energy Connect  Environment

Energy savings and occupant comfort can be achieved quickly and persistently in large, complex facilities when building operators and mechanics see energy savings as part of their job and are empowered to solve building performance issues. This program, called Energy Connect, demonstrates how inherently risk-adverse and cash-strapped hospitals with the primary mandate of patient care, can adopt a culture of conservation without adding any new resources. A package of five interventions, developed using a Design Thinking approach, were tested in healthcare living labs across six diverse healthcare facilities at the second largest health network in North America. Verified first year results show annual energy savings at three facilities from 3% to 12% attributable to Energy Connect. Preliminary unverified results in the other three facilities also show energy savings.

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NYSERDA Window Air Conditioning Pilot  Environment

This easily replicable pilot demonstrated how to use normative feedback and conservation tips to reduce window air-conditioning use among low- to moderate-income tenants of large multi-family buildings who do not pay their own utilities. Both the normative feedback and normative feedback combined with intrinsic priming resulted in significantly reduced electricity consumption compared to a control condition, with monthly electricity savings from 3% to 5%. There was a statistically significant persistence savings for 10 months post treatment for the normative feedback condition.

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“Taking Off? Turn Us Off” Office Computer Pilot  Environment

This pilot program used personal communication, norms, commitments, and prompts to engage government employees to turn off both their computers and monitors at the end of the workday. A control group was included in the evaluation design. The results revealed significant increases in computer shutdown rates in two out of the three participating agencies (the third agency had a baseline shutdown rate of nearly 90%). The most impressive findings were for computer monitor shutdown rates which nearly doubled in all three agencies.

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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 doubled enrollment rates, converted 44% of energy efficiency assessments to comprehensive upgrades, and doubled average project energy savings. In 2017, this pilot received both Landmark designation and the American Public Power Association Energy Innovator award. The pilot offered a streamlined, turn-key service for homeowners 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. This case study was designated Landmark in 2017.

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Familles à énergie positive  Environment

France's multi-year "Familles à énergie positive" program uses peer support groups (eco-teams) to reduce residential energy and water consumption. During the 2014/2015 period, participants reported an average 12% reduction in energy consumption, saving 8,500,000 kWh overall. Between 2008 and 2016 it engaged 90,000 individuals in 36,908 participating households.

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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 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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Most Recent Energy Efficiency Resources

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

The analysis presented uses easily available data to determine the ramp-up, dependability and short-term persistence of savings in Home Energy Reports (HERs).

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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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Efficacy of an Energy Educator Home Visit in Advance of a Building Analyst (Auditor) Home Visit  Environment

Participants who received an energy education visit before an energy audit adopted more low-cost, one-time energy conservation changes such as adjusting refrigerator/freezer temperatures and lowering hot water temperature. However, they did not invest more in home-energy renovations or other costly changes such as replacing inefficient appliances.

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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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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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