Promoting Energy Conservation in University Dormitories by Physical, Policy and Resident Behavior Changes

McClelland, L. & Belsten, L. (1979). Promoting energy conservation in university dormitories by physical, policy and resident behavior changes. Journal of Environmental Systems, 9, 1, 29-38.

Two successive energy conservation programs were implemented in four University of Colorado dormitories. Program I included persuasive communications, information, feedback, and group meetings. Program II included in addition a monetary incentive for conservation. The first program reduced electricity consumption to 84 per cent of baseline; the second, to 90 per cent of the revised (i.e., lowered) baseline. Consumption did not rise to baseline levels following either program. Interviews with dormitory students and staff suggest that both everyday resident actions (e.g., turning off lights) and physical-policy changes (light bulb removal, closure of unused rooms) were important in reducing consumption. Reasons for the behavioral and physical-policy changes and implications for conservation programs and conservation research are discussed.

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