Reducing Residential Electrical Energy Use: Payments, Information and Feedback

Hayes, S. C., & Cone, J. D. (1977). Reducing residential electrical energy use: Payments, information and feedback. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 10, 3, 425-435.

Monetary payments, energy information, and daily feedback on consumption were employed to reduce electricity use in 4 units of an 80-unit university student housing complex for married students with children. Unlike Ss in previous research, the present Ss did not pay their own electric bills. A combined multiple baseline and withdrawal design permitted both within- and between-unit comparisons. Payments produced immediate and substantial reductions in consumption in all units, even when the magnitude of the payments was reduced considerably. Feedback also produced reductions, but information about ways to conserve and about the cost of using various appliances did not. Results also show that, in general, payments combined with either information or feedback produced no greater effect than payments alone.

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