Reducing Electricity and Natural Gas Consumption Using Feedback and Incentives in Voorschoten, Netherlands, ,

Midden, C. J., Meter, J. E., Weenig, M. H., & Zieverink, H. J. (1983). Using feedback, reinforcement and information to reduce energy consumption in
Summary

After conducting a literature review, a pilot program was designed to reduce energy consumption in apartment complexes. Ninety-one households were divided into 4 conditions. All groups received information on energy conservation. One group received weekly feedback on their individual energy savings. The second group received weekly feedback on their energy savings as compared to other participants' consumption. In addition to this comparative feedback, the third group also received financial incentives for their energy savings. Finally, the fourth group received only the information pamphlet. Data was collected for 3 weeks prior to treatment and for 12 weeks during the pilot program. Both electricity and natural gas consumption was measured.

Results

The information-only group had the least reduction in energy savings in both electricity (7.6%) and natural gas (0%). All three intervention groups had substantial reduction in energy consumption. Electricity savings were 18.8% for the individual feedback group, 18.4% for the comparative feedback group and 19.4% for the comparative feedback/ financial incentives group. Furthermore, natural gas savings were 18.4% for the individual feedback group, 5.8% for the comparative feedback group and 17.5% for the comparative feedback/financial incentives group.

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