Reducing Elevator Energy Use: A Comparison of Posted Feedback and Reduced Elevator Convenience

Van Houten, R., Nau, P. A., & Merrigan, M. (1981). Reducing elevator energy use: A comparison of posted feedback and reduced elevator convenience. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 14, 4, 377-387.

Assessed the effects of 2 procedures for reducing elevator energy use. In the 1st procedure, feedback about the amount of energy consumed by the elevators each week was posted on each elevator door. Later, signs advocating the use of stairs to save energy and improve health were posted next to the feedback signs. In the 2nd procedure, the time required to travel between floors was increased by adding a delay to the elevator door closing mechanisms. Results indicate that neither feedback alone nor feedback plus educational signs reduced the amount of energy consumed by the elevators. However, the use of the door delay reduced consumption by one-third in all elevators. A 2nd experiment (1) replicated the effect of the door delay on energy consumption, (2) demonstrated that the door delay also produced a reduction in the number of persons using the elevator, and (3) showed that a gradual reduction of the delay interval resulted in continued energy conservation. (10 ref)

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