BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 31

FEATURE: OCCUPANT BEHAVIOR AND BUILDING PERFORMANCE

BEHAVIOR BASED STRATEGIES AND
ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE IN
COMMERCIAL & PUBLIC BUILDINGS:
THE HUMAN COMPONENT
OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY

I

n the last three decades, energy efficiency gains
in the U.S. have been impressive: energy intensity
has decreased by 50% since 1980, industrial energy
BY TEMUR AKHMEDOV,
use is down by 40% and the energy use in new
LEED AP, CEM
homes has declined by nearly 20% (Nadel et al.
AND DR. MARK MEO
2015). Despite these achievements, much remains to be
done. Not only are gains in energy efficiency unevenly
distributed across the nation, understanding of the roles
of behavior and organizational learning is not widespread
PEER REVIEWED BY
SAHEEL CHANDRANI
(Ruparathna et al. 2016).
Efficiency-gap studies that focused primarily on
economic rationality led to the recognition of the multidisciplinary character of energy efficiency research
(Martin-Rubio et al. 2016). Factors such as leadership,
credibility, understanding, values and trust, which
are often omitted in economic and technical studies,
have been explored in greater detail around the world
(Curtis et al. 2017, Fresner et al. 2017, Reyna et al.
2012). Organizational learning has also become the
focus of study (Arnold 2008). Behavioral-based and
organizational change research on energy efficiency
has progressed through case study analysis, crosssectional analyses and the use of change agents who
both catalyze and facilitate efficiency improvements.
This latter approach is championed by the Environmental
Defense Fund through its Climate Corps (Reyna et al.
2012). Consequently, the potential for improving energy
use efficiency with a behavioral-based approach appears
attractive, especially in states that have not made
efficiency improvement a policy priority.
In this article, we will share some observations
and examples from our work on the Oklahoma State
Facilities Energy Conservation Program (20x2020).
20x2020 was a behavior based energy efficiency
program, with target energy savings of over $100 million
by 2020. The program covered over 5,000 buildings,
engaging close to 70 state agencies and state colleges.
More info is available at http://20x2020.ok.gov/.
BEHAVIOR BASED PROGRAM DESIGN
In the vast majority of projects, energy efficiency
efforts are confined to engineers and senior
administration. At best, general staff participates in a
basic awareness campaign. Some entities around the
country have gone a bit further with competitions and

more proactive communication. However, some major
challenges remain: how to ensure sustainable savings
over the years, how to instill good behaviors and, above
all, how to ensure long-term success of energy efficiency
programs. Organizations often lean on punitive
measures by penalizing those using more energy than
some arbitrarily pre-set limits. Those efforts backfire,
creating a negative atmosphere. There is a better way.
Let's explore five strategic components for a
successful behavior based program:
* Focus on benefits, minimizing waste vs. lowering use
* Clear, simple, fun and engaging message
* Challenging, exciting and sensible goals
* Positive approach
* Broad organizational change
FOCUS ON BENEFITS, MINIMIZING WASTE VS.
LOWERING USE
A fundamental concept for any successful and
sustainable behavior-based program is a focus on
maximizing human benefit while minimizing energy
waste. Buildings are ultimately for people. If buildings
do not work for people, then they are not truly
sustainable and efficient. We define energy efficiency
as an ability to provide the same benefit for occupants
using less energy. When energy is used without
benefiting occupants or the broader community, that
energy is wasted. For example, lights of Manhattan
skyscrapers create a unique skyline, known around the
world, benefitting a broader community. To provide
that benefit, some of the lights in the peripheral offices
could stay on with lights further inside the building
being off or at the minimum levels to ensure safety
and security. Working with the Oklahoma Department
of Human Services, we addressed "phantom loads,"
energy used by plugged in document scanners. A
simple measurement showed that scanners were
drawing 10W in off position, while still being plugged
in. The energy used by the scanners in off position
delivered no benefit, thus representing a waste.
CLEAR, SIMPLE, FUN & ENGAGING MESSAGE
The need for a simple and inspiring message
cannot be overemphasized; any communication and
management professional would agree. Messaging
NESEA.ORG * 31


http://20x2020.ok.gov/ http://www.NESEA.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018

From the Executive Director
From the Board Chair
Product Choices for High-Performing Building: Materials Matter
Designing Solar for High-Density Areas
High Performance Building Valuation Techniques
Starting with the End in Mind: Enhanced Turnover for Efficient Building Operations
Behavior Based Strategies and Organizational Change in Commercial & Public Buildings: The Human Component of Energy Efficiency
Commercial HVAC Retrofits That Work
Stretch Codes Emerge as a High Impact Strategy For Energy Savings
Scale it Up: Monitoring-Based Demand-Side Operations for NYC Agencies
The Retrofit Revolution
Index to Advertisers
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - intro
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - cover1
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - cover2
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 3
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 4
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 5
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - From the Executive Director
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 7
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 8
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 9
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - From the Board Chair
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 11
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - Product Choices for High-Performing Building: Materials Matter
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 13
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 14
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 15
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 16
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 17
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - Designing Solar for High-Density Areas
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 19
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 20
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 21
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - High Performance Building Valuation Techniques
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 23
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 24
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 25
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - Starting with the End in Mind: Enhanced Turnover for Efficient Building Operations
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 27
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 28
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 29
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 30
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - Behavior Based Strategies and Organizational Change in Commercial & Public Buildings: The Human Component of Energy Efficiency
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 32
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 33
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 34
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 35
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - Commercial HVAC Retrofits That Work
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 37
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 38
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 39
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 40
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - Stretch Codes Emerge as a High Impact Strategy For Energy Savings
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 42
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 43
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 44
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - Scale it Up: Monitoring-Based Demand-Side Operations for NYC Agencies
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 46
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 47
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 48
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 49
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 50
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - The Retrofit Revolution
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - insert1
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - insert2
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 52
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 53
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 54
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 55
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 56
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 57
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 58
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 59
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - Index to Advertisers
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 61
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - 62
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - cover3
BUILDING ENERGY - Spring 2018 - cover4
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