Energy Efficient Gadgets
Analysis of Energy Behavior Programs in the Workplace
A new report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy focuses on energy behavior programs in the workplace, which aim to reduce building energy use through change in employees’ attitudes and behaviors. The report reviews five energy behavior projects across the U.S. and Canada. Energy savings of the studied energy behavior projects are from 4% (savings from a stand-alone behavior program) to nearly 75% (savings from a comprehensive project in which a behavior program is a component).
The report also identifies four intervention strategies shared by the reviewed energy behavior projects: (1) setting the tone with strong support from upper management and good program branding; (2) building a team consisting of a stakeholder-oriented program committee and peer champions selected from building occupants; (3) employing communication tools including e-mail, Web sites, prompts, posters and public meetings; and (4) deploying key engagement techniques such as feedback, benign peer pressure, competition, rewards, and reference to appropriate social norms.
The report suggests that the energy research community and energy efficiency professionals should work together to develop an improved evaluation framework to better document, study, and evaluate energy behavior programs. The integration of energy behavior programs into relevant building energy efficiency initiatives would help promote the development and deployment of advanced technologies in a more conservation-conscious environment. Moreover, government at every level should consider leading by example by implementing their own energy behavior programs, which would help promote a culture of energy saving in their workplaces and beyond.