Building energy use research has largely been focused on technological performance despite growing evidence that human behavior has an equally significant role (Sovacool, 2014) . This paper aims to address this by examining how the role of real-time information affects building occupant attitudes and behaviors toward energy use. Four buildings located on four different community college campuses in Illinois were outfitted with a centrally located graphic display of the building's real-time energy use (an energy dashboard) and implemented a 6-week energy behavior change campaign. Intervention efficacy was tested with an online survey that was distributed to each campus population before and after the intervention. Pre-post analysis, comparison between exposed and unexposed populations, and cross-campus comparisons were then conducted. Our findings show that although the interventions resulted in significant energy savings (7-10% in electricity and 50% decrease in natural gas), differences in student and faculty/staff energy attitudes or behaviors proved insignificant. Post-intervention longitudinal interviews with building facility managers, however, showed that energy dashboards improved their ability to detect system faults that led to their implementation of energy-saving building adjustments. While energy dashboards can be effective at improving facility management approaches, they are less useful for measurably affecting occupant attitudes and behaviors.
- Behavior change
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)