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 23, 2016  Landmark Panel Selects Two New Energy Conservation Case Studies
Our Energy Peer-Selection Panel has chosen two new Landmark energy case studies: Bonneville Power Administration Energy Smart Industrial Program, and Shower Feedback in Switzerland. Landmark designation recognizes programs and social marketing approaches considered to be among the most successful in North America and world-wide. You can scan and access these two new case studies using the left hand column below.    |   See the full list.
Nov. 2, 2016 Eight New Materials Added in this Topic Category in 2016
We've added four new case studies and four new resources this past year. You can see the case studies in the left hand column below and the resources in the right hand column below.  Let us know what you think.
 

Most Recent Energy Efficiency Case Studies

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 Bonneville Power Administration Energy Smart Industrial Program  Environment

Bonneville Power Administration's Energy Smart Industrial Program has changed how large industrial facilities consider and prioritize energy management. At the leadership level examples of affected behaviors include establishing and communicating energy policies and goals, conducting periodic reviews of energy performance, and including topics in communication with employees. At the operations level the program impacted a broad range of behaviors and practices. Common areas of emphasis included adopting procedures to operate the most efficient equipment under different operating scenarios (e.g. informed scheduling of parallel manufacturing lines), adopting more energy efficient standard operating conditions (e.g. reducing guard bands where possible), and ensuring proper maintenance and calibration of critical gauges (e.g. humidity probes, thermocouples, pressure gauges). Designated a Landmark case study in 2016.

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Landmark Case Study Shower Feedback in Switzerland  Environment

This pilot program provided Swiss households with real-time feedback on one specific, energy-intensive behavior: showering. Participants received smart shower meters that displayed feedback on the individual’s energy and water consumption in the shower in real time. A randomized controlled trial with 697 households in Zurich found that the treatment group who received feedback in real time reduced their energy and water consumption, as well as time spent in the shower by 20-22% over the control group. The effects were stable throughout the two-month study, resulting in average savings of 1.2 kWh per day and household.  This program was designated a Tools of Change Landmark case study in 2016. Listen to the program manager, Verena Tiefenbeck of ETH Zurich, and ask questions during our webinar on March 6, 2017.

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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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UBC Energy Reduction Challenge  Environment

This is a great model for generating enthusiasm among students for energy efficiency. To engage more students in energy conservation, UBC adapted a Facebook application called My Every Day Earth to create a point structure for participation that was in addition to the typical kWh meter readings. Users were able to gain points through activities such as: performing 11 actions they pledged to perform each day; creating short films to get their co-residents engaged and thinking about energy conservation; meeting with other students to discuss energy efficiency; and contacting their local politicians about energy efficiency.

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Boston’s Challenge for Sustainability  Environment

A Better City’s Challenge for Sustainability has engaged over 100 participating businesses and properties to develop and meet sustainability standards and practices, and to drive local innovation in energy efficiency. The program uses a combination of monthly information and networking meetings, Challenge Coordinators who provide technical and educational guidance one-on-one with participants, benchmarking, utility tracking, and goal setting.

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Rossland Energy Diet  Environment

This is a great example of a home energy efficiency retrofit incentive campaign for smalller communities. It achieved 257 energy efficiency assessments, or 22% of the single-family homes in Rossland. Of those households, 95%+  made some energy efficiency improvements and substantial reductions in energy consumption were achieved . One year later, the program was then extensively replicated within the FortisBC Electrical area and also BC Hydro Electrical areas. 

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Landmark Case Study Burlington’s Ice Rink Energy Competition  Environment

The City of Burlington's Ice Rink Energy Competition employs a low cost, easily replicable approach to significantly reduce energy consumption, associated greenhouse gases (GHG) and energy costs. A friendly competition to reduce energy at eight of the city's ice rinks helps change behaviours among staff and users, improves facility performance, and extends equipment life without sacrificing facility service levels or user satisfaction. Designated a Landmark case study in 2013.

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Landmark Case Study Class 5 Energy  Environment

This comprehensive, long-term approach combines education, training, behavior change and goal setting with progress tracking, recognition and continuous improvement to reduce energy use in schools, hospitals and other institutional settings.

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Most Recent Energy Efficiency Resources

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

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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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Expanding the Energy Efficiency Pie: Serving More Customers, Saving More Energy Through High Program Participation  Environment

Summarizes progam designs and participation rates for U.S. energy efficiency programs in a range of  residential and commercial sectors. 

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UBC Campus Sustainability Engagement and Social Marketing Strategy - Review of Related Research and Similar Programs  Environment

This literature review summarizes behavioral barriers, benefits and interventions related to campus / institutional energy, water and waste-related behaviors.

 

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Creative Gallery on Sustainability Communications  EnvironmentHealth

Covers a wide range of sustainability topics. Includes on-line, print and videos

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Influencing Behaviours Evidence Library  EnvironmentHealth

Brings many key evidence sources on pro-environmental behavior change together in one place and allows quick access to those freely available online

Themes include: home energy, travel, food choices, waste, shopping

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Green Power Marketing in the United States: A Status Report  Environment

Provides two reports documents green power marketing activities and trends in the United States

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Fostering a Sustainable Future  Environment

Includes a guide to community-based social marketing, and sections with articles, brief case studies, graphic examples, and an archived listserv.

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