This paper explores ways in which program administrators are using social norms to spur behavior change and, as a result, curb energy use. In recent years, home energy reports (HER) programs have applied the concept of social norms to the energy efficiency context. These feedback programs inform customers of how their energy consumption compares to their neighbors' and provide other information about their usage, with the goal of enticing customers to change their energy use behavior to improve their relative neighborhood ranking.
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The benefits of energy efficiency extend beyond energy savings. Homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities gain comfort, health, and safety benefits from energy efficiency programs. Additional benefits for businesses include savings on maintenance, materials, and the costs of regulatory compliance. On the supply side, electric utilities enjoy reduced system costs. Focusing on the residential, business, and utility sectors, this report examines each of these multiple benefits, their role in program marketing, and current best practices for including them in cost-effectiveness testing.
This Guide is designed to help state and local policymakers to take full advantage of new policy developments by providing them with a comprehensive set of tools to support launching or accelerating residential energy efficiency programs. The Guide focuses on four categories of policies that have proven particularly effective in providing a framework within which residential energy efficiency programs can thrive: incentives and financing, making the value of energy efficiency visible in the real estate market, data access and standardization, and supporting utility system procurement of energy efficiency.