Promoting Conservation Behavior in Shared Spaces: The Role of Energy Monitors

Raymond De Young

DOI: 10.2190/2N3T-WH89-B6WW-KVLH


Public university buildings are fascinating if somewhat complicated behavior settings. Designed and managed for a broad range of users, these buildings present a challenge to those trying to promote energy conservation. This is even more so when the goal is not a technology-based approach but conservation through direct involvement. This article discusses one type of participation-the use of energy monitors. Volunteer staff members were given responsibility for monitoring lighting energy usage in the public and shared spaces near their offices. They were encouraged to promote energy conservation by shutting off unneeded lights and by informally discussing their activities with other building users. This relatively simple and direct approach proved effective in reducing energy waste.

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