Behavior change

We are working to translate decision science into a set of proven principles and approaches that allow program managers to build credible people-centered initiatives that help meet escalating efficiency goals.

Minnesota Power AMI behavioral research pilot

Minnesota Power's Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) project includes a two-phase consumer behavior study. The first (Phase One) evaluates customer acceptance to various forms and timing of information feedback about electricity consumption, while the second (Phase Two) evaluates customer response to a TOU rate with a CPP overlay.

The utility targeted residential customers in the Duluth/Hermantown area for both phases of the study—an area with a slightly older and higher-income population than the rest of the state.

Download the final reports from this project.

MadCity BECCsters

MadCity BECCsters is a Madison, Wisconsin area forum for energy and sustainability professionals interested in human behavior. We meet monthly to share research, insights, and practices related to promoting and understanding human practices related to energy, water, climate, and environmental sustainability. Read more about us and view video presentations.

Studying patterns of high energy use

We fielded a study in Minnesota to develop empirically-based program approaches for utilities to better serve residential customers with comparatively high electricity and natural gas use. We used billing analysis to identify high users and then conducted interviews with study participants to determine why energy use is high and what might motivate the household to act on energy-saving opportunities. Watch our video series and download the final report.

Evaluation of a gamification-based sustainability effort

image from cool choices cardWe are leading an evaluation of a gamification-based sustainability program for businesses and communities. This groundbreaking project measures the impact of behavioral efforts by combining insights from player “scores,” interviews and a billing analysis.

We are discovering the drivers behind participation in the game and assessing the impact of players’ actions on their energy consumption.

Download evaluation reports.

Midwest Energy Survey

choice mentalityWe are pleased to offer one of the most comprehensive tracking studies available on public perceptions, experiences, and practices surrounding energy efficiency in their homes.

We initiated the study in 2007 with a survey of 3,284 Midwestern households and expanded to a national reach in 2008. The study is currently being repeated biennially.

Download reports and view our past webinars on this topic.

Minnesota study of residential plug load savings opportunities

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We employed in-depth metering of numerous plugged-in devices to identify the theoretical savings opportunities for residential electric customers; and interviews to understand consumer motivation, interest, and acceptance of potential program approaches. The final report includes a wealth of data on the electric profiles of consumer electronics and other appliances as they are actually operated as well as consumer-tested program concepts that energy-efficiency program managers can develop into pilot programs. Download the final report and datasets.