Webinar: Learning from the Past to Inform Future Work: Trends in Behavior‐ Based Efficiency Programs

Wed, Dec 16, 2015 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CST
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8398589152811623937

Best of BECC – Join us for one of the presentations from the 2015 Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference that attendees think is worth repeating!

The energy efficiency industry has increasingly recognized the potential of social science knowledge to expand the scope of program possibilities and tap into new energy saving opportunities. In order to help program administrators leverage these opportunities, the Consortium for Energy Efficiency has collected information from its membership for each of the past four years on the behavior-based programs currently underway and how these programs are being evaluated.

This presentation will describe this annual data collection effort and highlight the key findings of this research to date. Results discussed will consider the social science knowledge most commonly incorporated into the programs captured, as well as methods used for program evaluation and overarching lessons learned from the program administrator community. This presentation aims to shed light on current program activity, offer initial observations on emerging trends in behavior-based programs, and illustrate some promising approaches to achieving quantifiable energy efficiency savings using social science insights.

Presenter: Claire McIlvennie, CEE

Hosted by: Michael Li, U.S. Department of Energy

Should we abandon the language of sustainability?

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

How can we evolve sustainability to a language that is more accessible and motivational? That’s what I wanted to find out by reaching out to several communications/marketing experts whom I highly respect to get their assessment of what is wrong and how to fix it. I asked one simple question:

If the current language of sustainability were abandoned, what ONE THING (one way/approach/set of principles) would you advocate to achieve this end goal?

When, not if: the inescapability of an uncertain climate future

Download the document.

Climate change projections necessarily involve uncertainty. Analysis of the physics and mathematics of the climate system reveals that greater uncertainty about future temperature increases is nearly always associated with greater expected damages from climate change. In contrast to those normative constraints, uncertainty is frequently cited in public discourse as a reason to delay mitigative action. This failure to understand the actual implications of uncertainty may incur notable future costs. It is therefore important to communicate uncertainty in a way that improves people’s understanding of climate change risks. We examined whether responses to projections were influenced by whether the projection emphasized uncertainty in the outcome or in its time of arrival. We presented participants with statements and graphs indicating projected increases in temperature, sea levels, ocean acidification and a decrease in arctic sea ice. In the uncertain-outcome condition, statements reported the upper and lower confidence bounds of the projected outcome at a fixed time point. In the uncertain time-of-arrival condition, statements reported the upper and lower confidence bounds of the projected time of arrival for a fixed outcome. Results suggested that people perceived the threat as more serious and were more likely to encourage mitigative action in the time-uncertain condition than in the outcome-uncertain condition. This finding has implications for effectively communicating the climate change risks to policy-makers and the general public.

Webinar: Can energy use data reduce electricity costs and environmental impacts?

December 9, 2015 — noon-1 pm
To watch the seminar live, connect to https://umn.webex.com/umn/onstage/g.php?d=749731945&t=a. Connection instructions are available here.

Alexandra Klass, IonE Resident Fellow and Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Law School; and Elizabeth Wilson, IonE Resident Fellow and Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

As state and local governments and electricity users attempt to improve the efficiency of their buildings, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and realize the promises of improved demand-side management of energy resources, the need for electricity and other energy-related data becomes ever more pressing. Yet current law allows companies to keep a significant amount of energy use data confidential. In this talk we will draw lessons from the more sophisticated legal frameworks governing health care, education and environmental emissions data that balance public policy needs for data evaluation with privacy interests. A review of the law in these fields shows that the privacy and confidentiality interests in energy consumption data may be overstated and, in any event, can be adequately addressed in most instances by aggregating the data, using historic rather than current data, or developing contracts and other agreements to ensure security where access to individualized data is needed.

SEE Action Webinar Series on Behavior Programs and Strategies

Hosted by the State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action) Customer Information and Behavior Working Group, Anne Dougherty and Amanda Dwelley from Illume Advising will dive into issues around behavior programs and strategies in a three-part webinar series.

Session 1: Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, 2–3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time

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This webinar will propose an expansive definition of a behavior program, dig deeper in to behavior change strategy, and give examples of efforts in energy to clearly define “behavioral programs” vs. “behavioral interventions” in energy efficiency. This will serve as a primer for the two following webinars.

Session 2: Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, 2–3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST)

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This webinar will present data on ILLUME Advising team’s detailed review and inventory of evaluated commercial and residential behavioral programs. The review will share differences in savings, costs, and strategies across a wide range of program designs to support strategic portfolio planning and design.

Session 3: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, 2–3:30 p.m. EST

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This webinar will discuss how behavior change interventions can be implemented in traditional energy efficiency programs to enhance the effectiveness of their program designs.