Utilities and regulators increasingly rely on behavior change programs as essential parts of their demand side management (DSM) portfolios. This report evaluates the effectiveness of currently available programs, focusing on programs that have been assessed for energy savings. This report focuses on behavior change programs that primarily rely on social-science-based strategies instead of traditional approaches such as incentives, rebates, pricing, or legal and policy strategies. The objective is to help program administrators choose effective behavior change programs for their specific purposes.
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Energy efficiency savings have grown substantially in the past ten years, and national leaders in program administration have emerged as savings levels have increased. This report reviews annual program performance for 14 leading energy efficiency program administrators, with a focus on costs, electricity savings, cost effectiveness, and portfolio design.
Among the many benefits ascribed to energy efficiency is the fact that it can help create jobs. Although this is often used to motivate investments in efficiency programs, verifying job creation benefits is more complicated than it might seem at first. This paper identifies some of the issues that contribute to a lack of consistency in attempts to verify efficiency-related job creation. It then proposes an analytically rigorous and tractable framework for program evaluators to use in future assessments.
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.