Energy Conservation and Efficiency Resources

This section of the site provides quick access to case studies and helpful on-line social marketing resources for those who promote energy conservation and efficiency behaviors. We welcome suggestions for additional case studies and resources.


Latest News

March 26, 2019 Two New Case Study Videos, Full-Length Case Studies. Nominations Due June 3, 2019
Ready for an inspiration break? Need to convince or inspire a room-full of decision-makers? Each of our our new case study videos summarizes a recently designated Landmark case study in under five minutes ... short enough for a break or to show to others at Board, Council and other planning meetings. Our new format features more video-recorded sections of the programs-in-action and of the program managers sharing their perspectives. The full-length written case studies are also now available. Ohm Connect's #OhmHour Peak Time Energy Conservation Program and Fort Collins' Efficiency Works (Neighborhoods), both designated in 2017.. Let us know what you think.

We are now soliciting nominations for 2019. If you have been working on or have seen a particularly effective or innovative approach for changing energy or transportation behaviours, please consider nominating yourself or them (June 3 deadline)

November 4, 2018  Energy Connect Designated Landmark; Three More Case Studies
Energy Connect has just been designated a Landmark Case Study. Landmark designation recognizes programs and social marketing approaches considered to be among the most successful in North America and world-wide. See the full list. In addition, we've just posted two easily replicabale energy efficiency pilot program case studies. View the case studies using the left hand column below.
October 2, 2018  Three New Case Studies; Two New Resources
We've also posted the full case studies for one of our three new Landmark energy case studies: Fort Collins Efficiency Works. We are nearing completion of  the case studies on Energy Star and Ohm Connect's #OhmHour Program. We've also recently added the write-ups for France's Familles à énergie positive program, and added two new topic resources. See the new case studies using the left hand column below, and the resources using  the right hand column below.

Most Recent Energy Efficiency Case Studies

The Environment Network  EnvironmentHealth

This comprehensive program utilized several strategies including home visits, incentives and starter kits to induce households to reduce energy, water consumption, waste to landfill and pollution.

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Guelph 2000  Environment

Started in 1993 under Ontario's Green Communities Initiative, Guelph 2000 provided a home visit service that encouraged City of Guelph residents to undertake a wide variety of conservation related actions in their homes, including sustainable landscaping practices.

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In Concert with the Environment  Environment

In Concert With The Environment ( In Concert) is a customizable educational program developed by EcoGroup. It is sold to electric, natural gas, and water utilities in the U.S. who provide the program to local schools free of charge. In Concert teaches about careful use of resources, particularly energy and water use, providing a hands-on, real-life learning experience for students in grades 6-12, and their families.

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Iowa City  Environment

To influence households to reduce natural gas and electricity use, 20-minute home visits were conducted in which conservation strategies were explained, people were asked to participate, and a commitment to participate was requested.

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Jasper Energy Efficiency Project (JEEP)  Environment

To promote energy conservation, Jasper residents received a one-hour home visit in which conservation strategies and a retrofit incentive program were explained. They were also offered energy efficient products, installation included. The JEEP program won five awards, including two from the International Association of Business Communicators.

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Pacific Gas and Electric  Environment

Pacific Gas and Electric was using home audits to encourage residents to improve the energy efficiency of their customers' homes. In order to improve the effectiveness of home visits, the utility trained some of its auditors to obtain commitment from the resident, to frame recommendations in terms of "loss" rather than "gain" and to convey recommendations in a personalized, vivid manner.

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Peterborough Green-Up  Environment

Peterborough Green-Up is a non-profit community environmental organization that helps people become more resource efficient through a home visit service. A demonstration Ecology Park is also run, in conjunction with related workshops and clinics.

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The Residential Conservation Assistance Program (ReCAP)  Environment

The Residential Conservation Assistance Program ( ReCAP) provided a free home visit service to the residents of Oshawa, Ontario, aimed at helping householders reduce their use of energy and water and improve their 3Rs practices. Trained home advisors provided householders with one-on-one assistance to identify and undertake conservation and cost-saving opportunities. As of 1996 the program had been renamed Green CAP and householders were required to pay a fee for the home visits.

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Better Buildings Partnership  EnvironmentHealth

Toronto's Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) involves comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits and building renewal initiatives for buildings in the public, non-profit and private sectors. Innovative financing strategies are implemented and energy and water technologies are bundled together with other building renewal measures to allow for project flexibility.

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Do Your Share for Cleaner Air  EnvironmentHealth

The region of Greater Cincinnati implemented an episode day program to deal with the problem of smog and air quality. When smog levels were particularly high, citizens were notified and encouraged to change their behaviours to less polluting ones. The focus was primarily on commuting, but includef other polluting activities as well. The campaign was known as "Do Your Share for Cleaner air".

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Ozone Action Program  EnvironmentHealth

In Southeast Michigan, the Clean Air Coalition runs a program to help reduce the formation of ground level ozone, which is a threat to environmental and human health and is one of the primary contributors to smog. The Ozone Action Program educates households and businesses, and encourages participation in voluntary ozone reduction activities. A key component of the program involves Ozone Action alerts which are issued when ozone levels are expected to exceed federal standards the following day.

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Spare the Air  EnvironmentHealth

When air pollution concentrations approach unhealthy levels, people living and working within the San Francisco Bay Area are notified, and encouraged to avoid activities that pollute the air. Partnerships with local businesses and public agencies allow the program to target commuters at work, and offer information, incentives and services to help them choose less polluting alternatives.

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TV Program Teaches Energy Conservation  Environment

A 20 minute television program that suggested simple, no-cost strategies for reducing household energy consumption in summer was delivered over cable television in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1982. Residents who viewed the program once, adopted some of the modeled strategies. Although overall electricity savings were close to 10%, the participants did not feel that their level of comfort was compromised. Though this program focused on energy conservation, the approach can be applied to any area where behaviour modification is desired.

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Oregon's Air Quality Public Education and Incentive Program  EnvironmentHealth

This ongoing program educates the public and provides incentives to improve air quality in Portland. It uses non-regulatory approaches that target vehicles, lawnmowers, paints and certain consumer products - to reduce emissions from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

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Barrie Water Conservation Program  Environment

The City of Barrie, Ontario has deferred millions of dollars in waste water and water supply capital expenditures with its retrofit water conservation program. The City supplied subsidized ultra low flow toilets, showerheads and aerators to Barrie residents over a two-year period.

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Most Recent Energy Efficiency Resources

Marketing Public Programs  EnvironmentHealthSafety

Contains numerous brief program descriptions and links related to a range of topics including: children, drinking, drugs, environment (air, conservation, energy, waste, water), food, health (baby, blood and organ donation, disease, fitness, HIV & AIDS, medications and vaccines, mental health, pregnancy, prevention, sex, smoking, sunscreen) and safety (auto, crime, fires, guns, home, infants, recreation, seat belts, violence)

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Program Impact Attribution  EnvironmentHealthSafety

This document provides a brief summary of options for assessing what portion of any measured behavior changes resulted from your program and what portion resulted from other influences. These options can also be used to attribute the affects of your program on a wide range of related variables such as resources used, pollutants released, accident rates and health status.

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Green Power Marketing in the United States: A Status Report  Environment

Provides two reports documents green power marketing activities and trends in the United States

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Lessons Learned After 30 Years of (Energy Efficiency) Process Evaluation  Environment

This White Paper summarizes lessons learned during 30 years of implementing energy-efficiency programs, collected from interviews with 18 process evaluators. Read More »

The Rebound Effect  Environment

An assessment of the evidence for rebound effects and net economy-wide energy savings from improved (building and transportation) energy efficiency. Read More »

Saving Energy at Home and on the Road: A Survey of Americans' energy saving behaviors,  Environment

By Anthony Leiserowitz, PhD et al, Yale Project on Climate Change, based on a nationally representative survey of 2,164 American adults conducted by researchers at Yale and George Mason Universities in the fall of 2008.

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Influencing Behaviours Evidence Library  EnvironmentHealth

Brings many key evidence sources on pro-environmental behavior change together in one place and allows quick access to those freely available online

Themes include: home energy, travel, food choices, waste, shopping

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Centre for Climate Change Communications  EnvironmentHealth

Includes a climate change communication primer for public health professionals, and reports based on ongoing national surveys of Americans' climate change and energy beliefs, attitudes, policy support and behavior

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UBC Campus Sustainability Engagement and Social Marketing Strategy - Review of Related Research and Similar Programs  Environment

This literature review summarizes behavioral barriers, benefits and interventions related to campus / institutional energy, water and waste-related behaviors.


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Expanding the Energy Efficiency Pie: Serving More Customers, Saving More Energy Through High Program Participation  Environment

Summarizes progam designs and participation rates for U.S. energy efficiency programs in a range of  residential and commercial sectors. 

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Long-Run Savings And Cost-Effectiveness of Home Energy Report Programs  Environment

This white paper addresses three primary questions about electricity savings from longer-running Home Energy Report programs and savings after the end of treatment.

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Making Heat Visible: Promoting Energy Conservation Behaviors Through Thermal Imaging  Environment

Two British studies indicate the value of thermal imaging for making heat loss visible and changing behaviors.

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Insights from Smart Meters: Ramp-Up, Dependability, and Short-Term Persistence of Savings from Home Energy Reports  Environment

The analysis presented uses easily available data to determine the ramp-up, dependability and short-term persistence of savings in Home Energy Reports (HERs).

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Ramp-Up, Dependability and Persistence of Savings from Home Energy Reports  Environment

This US study finds that energy reductions from Home Energy Reports are statistically significant within two weeks and relatively stable in the short run. 

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Program Evaluation Methods; Measurement and Attribution of Program Results  EnvironmentHealthSafety

A good, detailed, freely accessible overview of program evaluation and attribution methods.

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