You are here

Projects Updates for Topic: behavior change


  1. Meeting notes Jan. 11, 2018

    Associated Project(s): 

    Morgan White, Anna Barnes, and Leah Berti met to discuss the first steps for the Use the Bin messaging campaign to campus staff.  Leah will finalize the powerpoint presentation by 1/16, and do a practice presentation to Morgan and Anna on 1/18.  The following week she will do a presentation to internal sustainability staff, and then start scheduling presentations with larger campus employee groups.

  2. Coordination meeting to discuss fume hoods and green labs

    Representatives from iSEE, the ECBS SWATeam, F&S, and student interns met to discuss coordination of energy conservation efforts regarding the fume hoods on campus.  iSEE and the student interns is investigating the development of a Certified Green Lab Program, like the Certified Green Office Program.  F&S is actively reducing fume hoods, through consolidation and moth-balling.  The ECBS SWATeam is advocating for more Shut the Sash communication efforts.  These groups will continue to move forward, and coordinate their efforts.

  3. Illini Lights Out Results

    Energy Conservation and Building Standards SWATeam Recommendation Summary:
    Illini Lights Out – Friday April 15th 6pm – 7pm

    Summary: Student volunteers switched off lights in 8 buildings around the Main Quad, counted the number of lights and the room number on a tally sheet and closed any windows left open. Students were given free rein on how to document lights in rooms (some chose to write the rooms with lights off and on, some just the rooms with lights on) and which (unlocked) rooms to enter – as long as they recorded the number of lights switched off. After returning their tally sheets they filled out a short survey and enjoyed some pizza.

    Buildings and Number of Lights Turned Off:

    • English Building: 100
    • Gregory Hall: 540
    • Lincoln Hall: 60
    • Daniel Kinley Hall: 42
    • Davenport Hall: 191
    • Noyes Laboratory: 75
    • Altgeld Hall: 182
    • Foreign Languages Building: 343

    Total: 1, 533

    Number of windows closed: 71

    Student volunteers: 22 students from 18 different majors, from ALL academic years.

    Student Feedback: Fun & positive environment. Advertise more. Recruit more people. Do it more often. Develop consistent counting metric.

    Suggested Buildings: Armory, NSRC, Illini Union, Psychology Building, South Quad, ALL.


    • Students keen to participate again – more advertising = more participants.
    • Significant room to expand initiative across campus: north/south quad.
    • Not all buildings can be audited due to sensitive information or lack of classrooms.
    • Specific rooms/ numbers and number of lights should be provided in future to simplify volunteer instructions and tally sheets. However, many accessible hallway lights were switched off during this event.
    • Partnership with local restaurant would make this more cost effective to run and maintain.
    • Better education of the importance of keeping windows closed to maintain heating/cooling efficiencies needed – especially when weather transitions from cool to warm. 
    • Directly addresses iCAP Chapter 2. Objective 4: Engage and incentivise the campus community in energy conservation.

    Illini Lights Out is an effective and cost efficient way to help with energy conservation efforts and engages students on campus!!

  4. Illini Lights Out pilot was a huge success

    Just quick here.  We completed the Illini Lights Out a few minutes ago.  It went off magnificently.  Alex led the process with confidence and clarity.  15 volunteers showed up plus the 7 student patrols (they were perfect).  Alex sent the teams out with clipboards (thanks Alex and Karl), maps (thank you Morgan J), instructions (thank you Morgan K) and tally sheets (thank you Jessica) to turn off lights and close windows,  The teams took about 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the building.  Pizza was enjoyed by all when they finished. The students seemed to really enjoy it.

    Jessica prepared a short survey that the students completed so we have some idea of how they experienced this process.  Thanks, Jessica.  The local student TV service interviewed a few of us and they will do a story about us, where ever that goes.

    So, great job everyone.  Olivia Harris for the PR, Ravi for organizing our entry, Amy for the pizza, Ryan for the student patrol.  And especially Alex who handled the communications with the volunteers and was the point person for the event.  This was truly a TEAM effort.

  5. Levenick Research Fellow to address energy conservation

    Associated Project(s): 

    Behavioral Interventions for Campus Energy Consumption

    According to Levenick Research Fellow Erica Myers:

    “Fuel costs — particularly in a campus setting — are often not well understood or salient for consumers. Students, faculty, and staff do not see billing or consumption information, making it difficult to translate use of particular energy services into costs. As a result, energy consumption is often ‘out of sight, out of mind’ as we go through our busy days on campus.

    “The goal of our research is to identify behavioral interventions that can be used to reduce campus energy consumption. First, in the spring of 2016, we will work with engineers and building managers on campus to identify behavioral energy savings opportunities related to office and classroom heating and cooling, electronics and lighting. Then in the summer and fall of 2016, we will design and test the relative effectiveness of behavioral interventions such as educational campaigns, usage information provision, and social comparisons for taking advantage of savings opportunities and reducing energy consumption.

    “Our findings will be shared with University of Illinois stakeholders, presented at academic conferences, and made publicly available in a University white paper in early 2017. Our results will not only be relevant for the U of I in meeting its campus sustainability goals, but for other campus and commercial settings where energy use is not well understood or salient for consumers.”