Energy-efficiency programs, no matter their design or implementation strategies, ultimately seek one common goal: to persuade people to use less energy. Inherently, this means motivating a target population—whether it’s consumers, contractors, dealers, or manufacturers—to change their behavior. Energy-efficiency program administrators have historically set into motion desired behaviors with equipment rebates that are intended to create demand for more-efficient lightbulbs, water heaters, or air conditioners, to name a few. But upgrading technology is only a piece of the energy-usage pie. Research from Opinion Dynamics shows that an average of 12 to 18 percent of energy consumed in commercial buildings is wasted as a result of occupant’ behavior. And behavior waste is responsible for nearly 36 percent of commercial lighting energy usage! One solution—targeting behavior (with a little automation, for example)—can help transform bad energy habits and save customers money.
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