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The effect of behavioural interventions on energy conservation in naturally ventilated offices

Ornaghi, C; Costanza, E; Kittley-Davies, J; Bourikas, L; Aragon, V; James, PAB; (2018) The effect of behavioural interventions on energy conservation in naturally ventilated offices. Energy Economics , 74 pp. 582-591. 10.1016/j.eneco.2018.07.008. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of behavioural interventions on energy conservation in naturally ventilated offices. Our aim is to inform building managers, environmental consultants, and social scientists on the effectiveness of low-cost, easy-to-implement interventions aimed at reducing energy waste and carbon emissions in a setting where individuals do not have direct financial gain and have low awareness of the environmental impact of their actions. The interventions consist of three types of emails with different information content aimed at encouraging recipients not to leave the windows of their office open overnight or during weekends. Our results show that these interventions are effective in promoting energy savings, as the percentage of windows left open by treated occupants is typically halved compared to a control group. We find that the impact of the treatment is stronger when we provide specific information about the energy waste of the building where the email recipients work or when we show them how their behaviour differs from that of their peers. Moreover, our results show that positive behavioural changes are still observed a few weeks after the interventions are terminated, thus suggesting that such interventions do not act only as temporary “cues” which are easily forgotten by recipients.

Type: Article
Title: The effect of behavioural interventions on energy conservation in naturally ventilated offices
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2018.07.008
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2018.07.008
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Keywords: Behavioural intervention, Window opening, Energy conservation, Carbon emission reduction, Naturally ventilated office
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > UCL Interaction Centre
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10065874
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