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High Reduction Potentials for Energy User Behavior in Public Buildings.
How Much can Psychology Based Interventions Achieve?
Zeitschriftenausgabe (-> Ref.Nr):
Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
Seite (von-bis):
To provide decision makers with useful estimates of energy saving potentials, it is important to develop optimal intervention programs and relate actual savings (amount of energy) to a theoretical maximum reduction potential. Against this background, an interdisciplinary project that integrated technical and psychological expertise was designed. We identified the theoretical potential for energy reduction based on the typical behavior of staff occupying public university buildings in Germany. We developed an intervention program using psychological intervention research and norm activation theory and collected three types of data: energy consumption, self-reported behaviors, and observation of one of the target behaviors. Data from staff members in 15 buildings at four German universities were collected in winter 2008/2009 (N?=?2,041) using a quasi-experimental pre-/postdesign with control group. Based on trend calculations intervention buildings showed reductions in energy consumption of 8% (electricity) and 1% (heating), which represents 43% (electricity) and 10% (heating) of the calculated theoretical maximum saving potential. Although a variation between buildings was considerable, self-report data and observations (correct window ventilation) support that changes in staff behavior did result in energy savings. Implications of the approach and future research in the domain of energy user behavior are discussed.