The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) plan to regulate carbon emissions is just the latest challenge facing the U.S. electric power system. Technological innovation is disrupting old ways of doing business and accelerating grid modernization. Earlier this year, AEE released Advanced Energy Technologies for Greenhouse Gas Reduction, a report detailing the use, application, and benefits of 40 specific advanced energy technologies and services. This post is the first in a series drawn from the technology profiles within that report.
Behavioral energy efficiency (BEE) employs messaging grounded in behavioral science to produce simple, actionable messages that are relevant to customers and motivate them to save energy. Extensive research has found that the average utility customer spends nine minutes per year thinking about their energy use. When they do, they have two basic questions: How am I using energy and what can I do to save energy and money? BEE answers this question. Utilities opt customers into BEE programs, meaning savings can scale rapidly. Communications are delivered through multiple channels – e.g. web, mobile, mail – ensuring customers are engaged and focused on reducing energy consumption. Dozens of independent evaluations have found BEE programs consistently produce savings of 1.5% to 3.5% per household.