Using Television Modeling to Reduce Energy Consumption in Roanoke,Virginia

Winett, R. A., Leckliter, I. N., Chinn, D. E., Stahl, B., & Love, S. Q. (1985). Effects of television modeling on residential energy conservation. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 18, 1, 33-44.
A literature review was conducted to identify behavior change tools that could be useful in reducing residential energy consumption. These behavior change tools were then incorporated into television programs. The shows modeled specific strategies to solve energy consumption problems. Furthermore, the programs showed positive outcomes to the energy conservation strategies. There were four conditions in the pilot program. The first group was prompted by letter and phone to watch the TV program. In addition to these prompts, the second group received a weekly form related to comfort issues. The third group received the prompts, the weekly form as well as a home visit, which explained conservation strategies in further details. Finally, a fourth group, which received only the weekly form, served as a control condition. In order to obtain objective measurement, energy savings were measured through meter readings. Furthermore, all groups except the control condition were telephoned to verify whether they had viewed the program.

Overall, the three media conditions reduced energy consumption by 10%. Furthermore, 75% of households in both the letter/phone call and letter/phone call/home visit used some of the strategies demonstrated in the program. Also, 63% in the weekly form/letter/phone call used the modeled strategies.

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