Energy Conservation and Efficiency Resources

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

 

Latest News

June 12, 2020 Two New Case Studies Posted
Read about California's Energy Efficiency Competition and the Port of San Diego's Green Business Network in the left hand column below.
April 14, 2020 Two New Landmark Case Studies Posted
RE100 and Europe's Energy Neighbourhoods were designated Landmark case studies in 2019. Read about them in the left hand column below.
Case Study Videos 
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. Let us know what you think.
 

Most Recent Energy Efficiency Case Studies

California’s Energy Conservation Competition  Environment

Participants in California’s Energy Conservation Competition work to change energy conservation behaviors in their schools relating to lighting, plug-loads, and mechanical systems. They also develop campaigns to encourage fellow students to communicate with teachers, peers, and administrators about energy conservation practices. This comprehensive program integrates climate education and energy efficiency, with linkages to hands-on job training and career development.

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Port of San Diego  Environment

The Port of San Diego’s (Port’s) Green Business Network (Network) is an integrated energy efficiency and sustainability program that educates tenant businesses on sustainable business practices and identifies resources to implement building and operational improvements. The Green Business Network provides a forum for businesses across the Port’s five member cities to network on sustainability best practices. Between 2010 and 2017, participating businesses reduced energy use by 10.8 million kWh and 300,000 therms.

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Landmark Case Study RE100  Environment

 

RE100 is a global, collaborative initiative that is accelerating a shift in corporate energy purchasing to reduce global carbon emissions and buy energy from renewable sources. Members commit to public disclosure of progress, with third-party verification providing social proof and accountability. Participation also involves inter-company comparisons and norming to a common goal of 100% renewable electricity. High-profile external public relations events enhance value for membership and sustain pressure for member companies to keep commitments, thereby ensuring persistence of campaign impacts. Designated a Landmark Case Study in 2019.

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Landmark Case Study Europe’s Energy Neighborhoods  Environment

Europe’s Energy Neighbourhoods program engaged neighbourhoods to ‘bet’ with their municipalities that they could reduce energy use by at least 9% over a four-month time period, with no investments in technology allowed. Each neighbourhood was supported by an “Energy Master”, an enthusiastic individual who acted as coordinator for the group and who received specific training to help their group make its energy savings. Those groups that made savings of 9% or more were rewarded with certificates and prizes, and received local media attention for their efforts. Designated a Landmark Case Study in 2019.

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Landmark Case Study Energy Connect  Environment

Energy Connect shows that energy savings and occupant comfort can be achieved quickly and persistently in large, complex facilities when building operators and mechanics are empowered to solve building performance issues. Five interventions were tested across six diverse healthcare facilities at the second largest health network in North America. Verified first year results show annual energy savings at three facilities from 3% to 12.5% attributable to Energy Connect, and all pilot facilities saved energy. Designated a Landmark Case Study in 2018.

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Landmark Case Study Fort Collins Efficiency Works (Neighborhoods).  Environment

In a pilot from the fall of 2015 to the fall of 2016, Fort Collins Utilities doubled enrollment rates, converted 44% of energy efficiency assessments to comprehensive upgrades, and doubled average project energy savings. In 2017, this pilot received both Landmark designation and the American Public Power Association Energy Innovator award. The pilot offered a streamlined, turn-key service for homeowners that overcame key barriers to participation such as lack of time to select and meet with contractors, too many complex technical scope of work decisions, homeowner distrust of contractor proposals, and concerns about paying for improvements. The campaign also used a propensity model to target the neighborhoods with the highest potential for saving, and then direct mail marketing to neighborhoods with the highest propensity to participate. This case study was designated Landmark in 2017. 

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Landmark Case Study ClimateSmart Home Service, Queensland, Australia  Environment

Once a resident signs up for Queensland’s ClimateSmart Home Service, a licensed electrician visits the home, installs a variety of energy-efficiency products, conducts an energy audit, provides recommendations, and leaves behind materials and prompts. The information collected is then used to create a customized plan that is sent to the homeowner approximately six weeks after the visit, with different audience segments receiving different messaging. A voluntary household energy challenge, wireless power monitors and an on-line portal help motivate and empower participants. ClimateSmart was designated a Landmark case study in 2011.

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Landmark Case Study Opower’s Home Energy Report, Minnesota  Environment

This program is a great example of the use of ongoing individualized feedback and prompts, coupled with norm appeals. Opower helps individual utility companies to send customized home energy use feedback reports to their residential utility customers. The full-colour reports include a comparison with other similar households, offer tips and strategies to reduce energy use, and provide seasonal energy consumption information. A web portal offers personalized insights and tips, and tools for choosing an optimal energy rate plan. In addition, Opower offers utilities the opportunity to send text messages directly to customers to alert them when their energy consumption is high and offer ways to reduce it. Updated as of October, 2014.

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Landmark Case Study Burlington’s Ice Rink Energy Competition  Environment

The City of Burlington's Ice Rink Energy Competition employs a low cost, easily replicable approach to significantly reduce energy consumption, associated greenhouse gases (GHG) and energy costs. A friendly competition to reduce energy at eight of the city's ice rinks helps change behaviours among staff and users, improves facility performance, and extends equipment life without sacrificing facility service levels or user satisfaction. Designated a Landmark case study in 2013.

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Landmark Case Study Class 5 Energy  Environment

This comprehensive, long-term approach combines education, training, behavior change and goal setting with progress tracking, recognition and continuous improvement to reduce energy use in schools, hospitals and other institutional settings.

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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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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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Setback Thermostats: Research and Resource Alert  Environment

This alert reviews research and resources relevant to turning down the heat (turning up the air conditioning temperature) - either by hand or using a setback thermostat - based on a report from Toronto Public Health.

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Compact Fluorescent Lamp Vendor Program  Environment

Southern California Edison, an American electric utility, reduced the price barrier that discouraged its residential and commercial customers from utilizing compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) rather than the less energy-efficient incandescent bulbs. Unlike traditional rebate programs that offer discounts directly to the consumer, the utility offered rebates of $5 per lamp to manufacturers of CFLs. The discount was amplified through the retail mark-up process, becoming even greater by the time it reached the consumer. This model was subsequently adopted by other utilities across the country.

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Action By Canadians / Count Me In  Environment

The Action By Canadians (ABC) and Count Me In! programs were designed to communicate the issue of climate change to the Canadian public through workshops delivered to individuals at their place of work. The climate change workshop focused on action by providing participants, at the end of the workshop, an opportunity to make a commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by adopting specific measures in their personal lives. By October 2000, over 3,500 Canadians had participated in these workshops. The Ontario Society of Training and Development awarded the ABC program with the Best External Training Program Award.

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Most Recent Energy Efficiency Resources

The Debunking Handbook  EnvironmentHealth

Misinformation can be a significant barrier to action. It damages society in a number of ways, having consequences for public health, the environment, and democracy. But undoing misinformation is difficult! Fortunately researchers have published a torrent of research into how to counter misinformation over the last decade and the field has made considerable progress.

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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.

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Utility Energy Efficiency Program Performance from a Climate Change Perspective: a comparison of structural and behavioral programs  Environment

Behavioral energy efficiency programs can reduce the same amount of damages from carbon emissions as structural retrofit programs, but in less time and at lower cost. They can  also further boost savings from structural programs.

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(Energy) Behavior Change Programs: Status & Impacts  Environment

This report reviews the variety of energy behavior program options, and the degree to which they successfully change behavior and save energy.

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Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health  EnvironmentHealth

The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health publishes highly credible reports documenting the impacts of climate change on health.

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Efficacy of an Energy Educator Home Visit in Advance of a Building Analyst (Auditor) Home Visit  Environment

Participants who received an energy education visit before an energy audit adopted more low-cost, one-time energy conservation changes such as adjusting refrigerator/freezer temperatures and lowering hot water temperature. However, they did not invest more in home-energy renovations or other costly changes such as replacing inefficient appliances.

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Longer-Lasting Actions and Responses to Extreme Events Can Have Great Impact  Environment

This paper links climate science and behavioural science, estimates the potential impact of behavioural programs, and predicts the three types of behavioural programs with the largest impact.

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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 »

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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