Promoting Energy Conservation in Master-Metered Apartments through Group Financial Incentives

McClelland, L., & Cook, S. W. (1980). Promoting energy conservation in master-metered apartments through group financial incentives. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 10, 1, 20-31.

Describes an energy conservation program conducted among 4 groups of apartments (44-70 units/group) in a university-affiliated family housing complex. The winning group in each of 6 2-wk contests won $80 to use however it determined. A drop of about 10% in use of natural gas occurred during the 1st contest and energy savings were smaller but still significant throughout the ensuing 8 wks. Over a 12-wk period, savings averaged 6.6%. Some changes in energy-using behaviors were reported by residents surveyed at the contest's end; however, knowledge of contest results by residents was minimal. Results are discussed in terms of other contest and rebate programs, the practical problems of costs exceeding savings, and inaccurate estimates of energy savings. (17 ref)

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