This well-evaluated program uses feedback, reminders, normative messaging, loss-aversion, goal setting and commitments to improve energy conservation and overcome the “rebound effect.” Sacramento county residents get Home Electricity Reports comparing monthly and annual electricity usage to 100 comparable homes and 20 comparable, highly efficient homes nearby; low-use households get happy faces on their reports. The customized reports also recommend specific energy-saving opportunities and show potential savings from reducing to the level of the 20 most efficient comparison households. By making small changes, participants have reduced electricity use by 2 percent and have maintained that reduction after thirty months. Even the most energy-efficient households have achieved additional savings. By targeting consumers who saved the most in the pilot, SMUD expects to bring the cost of the Home Electricity Reports program down to $.03 for every kWh reduced, which is less than half the cost of purchased power. The approach has been replicated in two dozen other large cities in the United States.
This program was designated as a Landmark (best practice) case study by a Tools of Change selection panel in 2010. This peer selection process recognizes energy efficiency programs and social marketing approaches considered to be among the most successful in North America (based on impact, innovation, replicability and adaptability.
Free 60minute recording of webinar presented by Bruce Ceniceros, Program Planner, SMUD on Wednesday May 11, 2011 from 12 noon to 1:00 pm Eastern Time.