A new paper, “Competition, carbon, and conservation: Assessing the energy savings potential of energy efficiency competitions” is available to download on ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/home. A short abstract is below.
Local governments interested in motivating energy in their own municipal buildings, helping provide resources to a local business or campus interested in a competition, or holding their own community-wide competition may be interested in EPA ENERGYSTAR’s Create Your Own Competition website.
Local governments may also want to check out the CoolCalifornia.org City Challenge website.
“Competition has become an increasingly popular strategy to engage individuals in energy and resource conservation; however, there has not been an objective, independent review of existing competition programs focusing on the reduction of energy use. This paper attempts to address this shortcoming.
This paper reviews a representative selection of completed and ongoing energy reduction competitions in the United States and uses the lessons learned to provide best practice guidance on the design, implementation, and evaluation of future programs. Four key research questions are addressed in this study:
• How effective have competitions been at changing behavior and reducing energy?
• How long do energy savings persist after the end of competitions?
• Under what circumstances are competitions more or less effective?
• What are common best practices for the design, implementation and evaluation of energy and resource conservation competitions?
The primary target audiences for this paper are electric and natural gas utilities seeking to broaden their portfolio of behavior-based interventions, as well as potential designers, implementers and evaluators of energy reduction competitions. Our intention is to improve the effectiveness of competitions and to suggest when competition may or may not be an effective strategy to save energy over the long term.”