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Levenick Research Fellow to address energy conservation

Posted by Morgan White on March 2, 2016

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.”