An Experimental Analysis of Electricity Conservation Procedures
Palmer, Michael H.
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The problem. To determine if behavioral procedures would be effective in lowering overall daily electricity consumption with residential consumers. Procedure. Electricity meters were read each night for 106 days at the homes of four experimental families. Each family experienced one or more of the following conditions. Feedback: Daily reports of electricity consumption were provided to experimental families. Monetary feedback: As well as daily reports of electricity consumption, projected monthly electricity bills were provided daily. Daily prompts: A card prompting electricity conservation was provided each day. Prompts and feedback: Both feedback and prompts were provided simultaneously. Government prompt: A personal letter from the Director of the Iowa Office of Energy was sent to the experimental families urging a reduction in electricity consumption. Findings. Either prompting or feedback techniques were effective in lowering total daily electricity consumption in three of four suburban families. Conclusions. Additional research is necessary to assess the relative effectiveness of various prompting and feedback techniques. Recommendations. Behavioral research should be used as a resource in energy conservation programs.
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