How Do You Get People Interested in Energy Efficiency? Oxford University say “Give them Feedback!”

A recent article in Breaking Energy claims that it is difficult if not impossible to induce homeowners to make energy decisions based on efficiency and saving. Difficult, yes. Impossible, no. 

While it is certainly true that humans (especially pampered westerners) are more inclined towards comfort and convenience, it is equally true that they like to measure things.  A 2006 report published by the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford titled The Effectiveness of Consumption on Energy Consumption suggests that

The norm is for savings from direct feedback (immediate, from the meter or an associated display monitor) to range from 5-15%. The role of the meter is to provide a clearly-understood point of reference for improved billing and for display.

The U.K. has mandated that every home in Britain (something like 18 million of them) will install a device that monitors not only electricity, but also water and gas use. The net of all this? There is no silver bullet. Managing our energy consumption at the consumer level will require more than one approach!

 

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