Using energy consumption reports and friendly neighborhood competition to motivate customers to save energy was the topic of another Public Power Magazine story in October.
Last year, City Water Light and Power (CWLP) in Springfield, Ill., conducted a pilot program in which 400 randomly-selected households received messages comparing their average energy use to that of their neighbors. Another group of 400 households received messages comparing their average energy use to that of residents citywide. The performance reports also included a summary of total household electric costs and energy use during previous months as compared to others nearby, along with energy conservation tips.
The amount of energy the experimental groups consumed compared to a control group was not significantly different, the utility found after seven months. However, study participants believed the energy performance reports pushed them to conserve.
CWLP’s study is similar the Behavior and Energy Savings program Fort Collins Utilities launched in 2010. That pilot proved successful enough that it is expanding to Loveland, Colo., and other cities in the region.
Read more about using social marketing to reduce consumers’ energy use.