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  • [ February 1, 2013 ]
  • The human behavior side of energy efficiency

In our December blog post, Would social pressure influence your energy usage?, we looked at the social pressure some electricity consumer engagement companies are putting on their customers. 

It looks like consumer engagement companies aren’t the only ones interested in the human behavior behind energy usage; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is also committing research efforts to understanding how behavior affects energy choices.

The lab employs not only engineers and researchers to study and implement energy efficiency techniques and research, but also researchers to understand the key aspect of reducing energy- human behavior. While the lab has been studying behavior for decades, the field has gotten more attention in recent years as concerns on climate change have become increasingly urgent. Even though attention has increased, creating and understanding behavior change is not an easy task.

The lab, along with the State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network, has focused on understanding the influences and measurable results of behavior-based programs recently implemented by utility companies. Additionally, a project for the Department of Energy researches the social science framework necessary to create changes in institutional behavior. The research includes developing case studies and training modules for federal agencies to meet sustainability objectives. 

While influencing decision-making and behavior change can be a long-term and challenging process, it may be worth the reward.

Learn more about efforts by utilities and electricity consumer engagement companies from our related blog post, Would social pressure influence your energy usage?

Source: The Human Side of the Energy Equation, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

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