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Reducing Peak Energy Demand among Residents Who Are Not Billed for Their Electricity Consumption: Experimental Evaluation of Behaviour Change Interventions in a University Setting

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posted on 2021-10-01, 02:25 authored by Bradley S Jorgensen, Sarah Fumei, Graeme ByrneGraeme Byrne
Behaviour change interventions aiming to reduce household energy consumption are regarded as an effective means to address disparities between demand and supply and reduce emissions. Less recognised is their success in shifting consumers’ energy consumption from peak demand periods to off-peak times of the day. This study reports two experiments that test the effect of feedback and reminder notifications on energy consumption in university halls-of-residence. A quasi-experiment and a randomised controlled experiment were conducted with residential students to evaluate behaviour change interventions aimed at reducing daily peak and critical peak demand, respectively. The results of Experiment One (n = 143) demonstrated significant reductions in the energy use of the treatment group relative to the control. On average, the treatment group’s energy use was 12.4 per cent lower than their pre-intervention baseline. In Experiment Two (n = 88), normative elements of the intervention were supplemented with a reminder notification prior to the onset of the simulated critical peak demand period. The results showed that, relative to the control condition, the 8-h notification reduced demand by 20% on average with a 12% decrease for the 24-h notification (with 2-h follow-up). These results indicate that peak energy issues can be alleviated using low-cost and easily implemented behaviour change strategies.


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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health





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