Behavior & Human Dimensions
Welcome to the New Year!
On January 1 of each year, 40–50% of Americans make a New Year’s Resolution. The most common resolutions we find ourselves making include quitting smoking, losing weight, and exercising more. In other words, New Year’s Resolutions often reflect a desire to change a behavior.
On October 10, ACEEE’s Behavior and Human Dimensions of Energy Use Program will be releasing the first in a series of white papers on popular approaches for driving energy efficiency using social science methods and insights.
Advanced utility meters (so-called “smart meters”), coupled with in-home displays or feedback devices, provide the means by which residential energy consumers can become more knowledgeable about their energy consumption practices. Such devices enable consumers to become active managers of their own energy use, or in this case, their home electricity usage patterns.
As the energy efficiency of products, homes, and businesses improves, it becomes less expensive to operate them. The rebound effect postulates that people increase their use of products and facilities as a result of this reduction in operating costs, thereby reducing the energy savings achieved. Periodically, some analysts raise questions about the rebound effect, arguing that it is a major factor that needs to be accounted for when analyzing energy efficiency programs.
Paris—Today a new report entitled Building Energy Efficiency Policies in China: Status Report was released jointly by the Global Buildings Performance Network (GBPN), the China Sustainable Energy Program (CSEP) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). This is the first report of this kind issued internationally that provides a comprehensive English summary of Chinese studies on building energy policies in China.
Temperatures are rising, humidity is increasing, and the ACEEE Behavior crew decided that July was the perfect time to conduct research across the deepest of the Deep South. Laissez le bon temps rouler is our battle cry as we fan out to talk with folks about their everyday energy usage. We are tackling a variety of topics in several sites across the South including: Alpharetta, GA; Oneonta, AL; Corinth, MS; and The Big Easy itself, New Orleans, LA.
“Not Your Father’s Energy Efficiency”: New “Intelligent Efficiency” Discoveries Focus on Interconnected Systems—Not Devices such as Cars or Refrigerators; Shift in Emphasis Could Slash 12-22 Percent of Current U.S. Energy Use.
I will be speaking at the upcoming NCBC meeting in Nashville on May 15th. The organizers and I decided to write a short blog with some ideas to help jump-start conversation and participation. In my keynote I will be talking about some of these ideas in more depth, in particular the idea of invented traditions. Today I thought I would stray a little bit into how we can create embodied traditions that work holistically (mind, body, and environment) to enhance memory and learning.
Recently I spoke at the 2012 E Source Utility Customer Experience Conference in Charlotte, where I was invited to talk about user-centered design and the role of ethnography in helping utilities design programs to more effectively reach their customers and change their energy use behaviors.