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

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

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.

Behavioural intervention, Carbon emission reduction, Energy conservation, Naturally ventilated office, Window opening
0140-9883
582-591
Ornaghi, Carmine
33275e47-4642-4023-a195-39c91d0146b0
Costanza, Enrico
0868f119-c42e-4b5f-905f-fe98c1beeded
Kittley-Davies, Jacob
8c24a9ad-da34-42e0-b48f-b592b5e78435
Bourikas, Leonidas
5faf69fc-1b5a-4613-ae9f-cd135092af9c
Aragon, Victoria
f2a397a1-9d24-4f68-8f22-cc3270761d82
James, Patrick A.B.
da0be14a-aa63-46a7-8646-a37f9a02a71b
Ornaghi, Carmine
33275e47-4642-4023-a195-39c91d0146b0
Costanza, Enrico
0868f119-c42e-4b5f-905f-fe98c1beeded
Kittley-Davies, Jacob
8c24a9ad-da34-42e0-b48f-b592b5e78435
Bourikas, Leonidas
5faf69fc-1b5a-4613-ae9f-cd135092af9c
Aragon, Victoria
f2a397a1-9d24-4f68-8f22-cc3270761d82
James, Patrick A.B.
da0be14a-aa63-46a7-8646-a37f9a02a71b

Ornaghi, Carmine, Costanza, Enrico, Kittley-Davies, Jacob, Bourikas, Leonidas, Aragon, Victoria and James, Patrick A.B. (2018) The effect of behavioural interventions on energy conservation in naturally ventilated offices. Energy Economics, 74, 582-591. (doi:10.1016/j.eneco.2018.07.008).

Record type: Article

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.

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Accepted/In Press date: 5 July 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 July 2018
Published date: 1 August 2018
Keywords: Behavioural intervention, Carbon emission reduction, Energy conservation, Naturally ventilated office, Window opening

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 422664
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/422664
ISSN: 0140-9883
PURE UUID: 641a5cf1-a206-4e7b-92df-f80d8423b189
ORCID for Carmine Ornaghi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2704-2537
ORCID for Leonidas Bourikas: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5289-2157
ORCID for Victoria Aragon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6175-9454

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Jul 2018 16:30
Last modified: 04 Oct 2018 00:33

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Contributors

Author: Carmine Ornaghi ORCID iD
Author: Enrico Costanza
Author: Jacob Kittley-Davies
Author: Leonidas Bourikas ORCID iD
Author: Victoria Aragon ORCID iD

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