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Title: What goes on behind closed doors? How college dormitory residents change to save energy during a competition-based energy reduction intervention

Abstract

Here, the aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of a competition-based intervention combining high resolution electricity feedback, incentives, information, and prompts on college dormitory residents’ energy consumption and participation in demand response (DR) events. We also investigated changes in individual-level pro-environmental behaviors and examined psycho-social correlates of behavior change. Residents of 39 suites in a freshman residence hall competed against one another to reduce energy consumption and win prizes as part of a 3-week competition. Feedback was provided in near real time at the suite-level via an interactive touch-screen kiosk. Participants also completed baseline and followup surveys. Findings have indicated that electricity use among all suites was approximately 6.4% lower during the competition period compared to baseline, a significant reduction. Additionally, participants reported engaging in various pro-environmental behaviors significantly more frequently during the competition relative to baseline. Changes in pro-environmental behavior were associated with changes in level of group identification and perceived social norms. In three weeks, dormitory residents saved 3, 158 kWh of electricity compared to baseline – the equivalent of more than 3, 470 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Our findings provide evidence that real-time feedback, combined with incentives, information, and prompts, can motivate on-campusmore » residents to reduce energy consumption. We contribute to a limited body of evidence supporting the effectiveness of dorm energy competitions in motivating college students to save energy. In addition, we identified individual-level behavioral and psycho-social changes made during such an intervention. University residential life planners may also use the results of this research to inform student programming.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]; ;
  1. Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
City of Los Angeles, CA (United States). Dept. of Water and Power
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1290133
Report Number(s):
DOE-USC-00192-123
Journal ID: ISSN 1467-6370
Grant/Contract Number:  
OE0000192
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 17; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1467-6370
Publisher:
Emerald Group Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; Sutdents; Feedback; Energy Conservation; Energy Consumption; Competitions; Residential Programming

Citation Formats

Sintov, Nicole, Dux, Ellen, Tran, Agassi, Orosz, Michael, Filho, Walter Leal, and Zint, Michaela. What goes on behind closed doors? How college dormitory residents change to save energy during a competition-based energy reduction intervention. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1108/IJSHE-02-2015-0027.
Sintov, Nicole, Dux, Ellen, Tran, Agassi, Orosz, Michael, Filho, Walter Leal, & Zint, Michaela. What goes on behind closed doors? How college dormitory residents change to save energy during a competition-based energy reduction intervention. United States. doi:10.1108/IJSHE-02-2015-0027.
Sintov, Nicole, Dux, Ellen, Tran, Agassi, Orosz, Michael, Filho, Walter Leal, and Zint, Michaela. Mon . "What goes on behind closed doors? How college dormitory residents change to save energy during a competition-based energy reduction intervention". United States. doi:10.1108/IJSHE-02-2015-0027. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1290133.
@article{osti_1290133,
title = {What goes on behind closed doors? How college dormitory residents change to save energy during a competition-based energy reduction intervention},
author = {Sintov, Nicole and Dux, Ellen and Tran, Agassi and Orosz, Michael and Filho, Walter Leal and Zint, Michaela},
abstractNote = {Here, the aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of a competition-based intervention combining high resolution electricity feedback, incentives, information, and prompts on college dormitory residents’ energy consumption and participation in demand response (DR) events. We also investigated changes in individual-level pro-environmental behaviors and examined psycho-social correlates of behavior change. Residents of 39 suites in a freshman residence hall competed against one another to reduce energy consumption and win prizes as part of a 3-week competition. Feedback was provided in near real time at the suite-level via an interactive touch-screen kiosk. Participants also completed baseline and followup surveys. Findings have indicated that electricity use among all suites was approximately 6.4% lower during the competition period compared to baseline, a significant reduction. Additionally, participants reported engaging in various pro-environmental behaviors significantly more frequently during the competition relative to baseline. Changes in pro-environmental behavior were associated with changes in level of group identification and perceived social norms. In three weeks, dormitory residents saved 3, 158 kWh of electricity compared to baseline – the equivalent of more than 3, 470 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Our findings provide evidence that real-time feedback, combined with incentives, information, and prompts, can motivate on-campus residents to reduce energy consumption. We contribute to a limited body of evidence supporting the effectiveness of dorm energy competitions in motivating college students to save energy. In addition, we identified individual-level behavioral and psycho-social changes made during such an intervention. University residential life planners may also use the results of this research to inform student programming.},
doi = {10.1108/IJSHE-02-2015-0027},
journal = {International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education},
number = 4,
volume = 17,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {7}
}

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Reducing Electricity Use on Campus: The Use of Prompts, Feedback, and Goal Setting to Decrease Excessive Classroom Lighting
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