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ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN BUILDINGS: BEHAVIORAL ISSUES Paul C. Stern, Editor Committee on Behavioral and Social Aspects of Energy Consumption and Production Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C., 1985

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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. . . . . . . The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, which establishes the Academy as a private, nonprofit, self-governing membership corporation. The Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine were established in 1964 and 1970, respectively, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences. Available from: Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America

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COMMITTEE ON BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL ASPECTS OF ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION ELLIOT ARONSON (Chair), Stevenson College, University of California, Santa Cruz JOHN M. DARLEY, Department of Psychology, Princeton University DANIEL H. HILL, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan ERIC HIRST, Energy Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory WILLETT KEMPTON, Institute of Family and Child Study, Michigan State University THOMAS J. WILBANKS, Energy Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory PAUL C. STERN, Study Director

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CONTENTS PREFACE 1 ENERGY CONSERVATION POLICY AND BEHAVIOR The Human Dimension of Energy Use, 2 About Th is Repor t, 3 Behavioral Questions Related to Conservation Programs for Buildings, 4 METHODS FOR ANSWERING BEHAVIORAL QUESTIONS Six Analytic Methods, 9 A Strategy for Assessing Behavioral Issues, 16 Using Behavioral Methods to Analyze Policy Issues, 17 3 THE EFFECTIVENESS OF RESIDENTIAL CONSERVATION INCENTIVES Criteria of Effectiveness, 30 Effects of the Size and Type of Incentive, 33 Nonfinancial Features of Incentive Programs, 41 Effectiveness of Incentives in the Low-Income Housing Sector, 46 Conclusions, 49 4 INFORMATION-BASED HOME RETROFIT PROGRAMS How Can a Program be Designed so that the Information it Offers is Used? 53 How Can a Program be Designed to Spread Information Widely? 56 How Can the Effects of a Program be Forecast? 56 How Can the Effects of a Program be Assessed Accurately? 57 To What Can Program Effects be Attributed? 59 Recommendations, 62 v vii 1 9 29 53

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5 HOME ENERGY RATINGS 64 Characteristics of an Ideal Home Energy Rating System, 65 Questions About Designing Ratings, 66 Questions About Implementing Rating Programs, 69 Developing Effective Home Energy Rating Systems, 73 Conclusions and Recommendations, 77 6 PREDICTED AND ACTUAL ENERGY SAVINGS FROM HOME RETROFITS Research Strategy, 81 The First Stage of Research, 83 Guidelines for Research Design, 90 REFERENCES V1 79 92

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PREFACE In 1980, with funds from the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Research Council established a Committee on Behavioral and Social Aspects of Energy Consumption and Production to draw on knowledge from the social and behavioral sciences in order to improve understand- ing of energy consumption and production in the United States. In its first report (Stern and Aronson, 1984), the committee developed a new perspective on energy issues and applied it to three areas of energy policy: energy use and conservation, energy emergencies, and energy activity at the local level. In a second report (Stern, 1984), a panel of the committee applied this perspective to some problems of fore- casting and policy analysis most often addressed with formal mathematical models based on engineering data and economic concepts. The committee developed its perspective on energy use in response to a request from DOE for advice on how knowledge from the behavioral and social sciences other than economics could illuminate energy policy issues. Thus, the committee did not begin from economic assumptions; we did not, for instance, assume that it is adequate to characterize energy users as rational economic actors making choices in a market. We took a broader view. For example, we identified five different views of energy users that that may have great value for policy analysis: (1) energy users as investors who seek to maximize net financial value over the long term; (2) energy users as consumers whose choices reflect desires for personal benefits that are not financial; (3) energy users as people who express personal attitudes and social values; (4) energy users as members of social groups who reflect the influence of friends and associates; and {5) finally, energy users as people who want to minimize effort and avoid future problems and inconveniences. The recognition of this broad range of motives affecting energy users' behavior has numerous implications for energy conservation policy, which the committee explored in its previous reports. Moreover, we tried to establish the conditions under which each of these motives would be more or less powerful. In 1984 DOE expressed the need for a more detailed understanding of some of these implications. Accordingly, the committee was asked to apply its perspective to selected policy questions and to develop ways to help the staff of DOE's Office of Buildings Energy Research and Development to improve its analysis of behavioral issues in the area of e VII

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consumer choice. This report directly addresses three issues: (1) consumer adoption of energy-efficient retrofits of existing buildings; (2) the role of energy efficiency in purchase decisions regarding new and used homes; and (3) consumer response to financial incentives for energy conservation. In addition, our analysis offers a framework for identifying behavioral issues regarding energy efficiency in buildings and for choosing methods for analyzing those issues. The report reflects the deliberations and contributions of the full committee as well as our discussions with DOE staff. The actual writing and editing of the report was the primary responsibility of Paul Stern, the committee's study director. Helpful comments on sections of the report were received from Gautam Dutt, Michael Rothkopf, and reviewers for the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. In addition, it is a pleasure to express appreciation to other people who made important contributions to the committee's work on this report: John Millhone, Diane Pirkey, Lynda Connor, Fred Abel, and Barry McNutt of DOE; David Goslin and Brett Hammond, executive director and associate executive director of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; and Eugenia Grohman, the Commission's associate director for reports. ELLIOT ARONSON, Chair - Committee on Behavioral and Social Aspects of Energy Consumption and Production ~ vain