Reducing Air Conditioning Waste by Signalling it Is Cool Outside

Becker, L. J. & Seligman, C. (1978). Reducing air conditioning waste by signalling it is cool outside. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 4, 3, 412-415.
Examined the effects on residential energy consumption of providing homeowners with (1) a signaling device that indicated a conservation opportunity and (2) information feedback about their rate of energy use. The signaling device operated when the outside temperature was below 68Deg.F and the air conditioner was on. Homeowners were told that the signaling device indicated when they could cool their house effectively by opening the windows and turning off their air conditioner. 40 households were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 conditions: signaling device only, feedback only, both, neither. Results show a significant 15.7% decrease in energy use for households with the signaling devices. Neither the feedback nor interaction effect was significant. (4 ref)
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