News in cooperation with eceee.org
To inspire energy-saving behaviors, local governments engage residents, hold contests, try games
(ACEEE blog, 15 Nov 2018) Nearly two-thirds of behavior-based programs for saving energy involve in-person contact with residents, such as home energy audits, according to a new survey of 50 such programs nationwide.
As energy efficiency programs increasingly target behavior, local governments are taking diverse approaches.
Our new report, Reducing Energy Waste through Municipally Led Behavior Change Programs, shows that the majority of locally led programs use more than one behavior change strategy. It finds that more than half include a competition, game, or educational component.
They target diverse audiences, too
Programs also vary based on their targeted audience. Almost two-thirds focus on residential households and 40% on municipal government operations. While transportation programs are less common, some local governments address energy use in transportation as well as other sectors.
For example, in California in 2016, Alameda County’s Community Commutes Day competition used an online game to encourage employees to use public transit, biking, or carpooling. Municipal buildings competed as teams to earn the most points through clean commuting and program engagement.
“Really think about the diversity of your employees and don’t fall into the trap of thinking everyone is like you,” said Sarah Church, Alameda County’s sustainability project manager. In providing advice to other local governments aiming to run similar programs, she added, “Reach out to all groups, even those who you’d least expect to participate, as you may be surprised who will engage.”
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eceee's energy sufficiency library contains all concept papers, workshop reports and presentations from the Energy Sufficiency project. It also highlights relevant reports from other sources to help you dig deeper and better understand what sufficiency might mean for you and our society.