Energy Efficiency Through Education and Low-Cost Measures

September/October 2005
A version of this article appears in the September/October 2005 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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September 01, 2005
There are many benefits to combining energy efficiency with energy education.The strategy is cost-effective, and it can reach many people with a low investment of time and money. It helps participants understand how energy is used in their homes and empowers them to generate their own energy savings. We have found, through our work as economic consultants for energy efficiency programs, that effective energy education includes client-specific messages; an action focus; a highly interactive atmosphere with hands-on learning opportunities; the translation of energy impacts to dollar savings; written commitments from clients; and follow up with participants. The states that have implemented education programs have all been highly satisfied with the outcomes. (For more on energy education, see “Gizmo Giveaways Reduce Energy Use,” HE July/Aug 2003, p. 8.) Our company,Quantec, recently evaluated energy efficiency programs in Iowa, South Carolina, and Indiana that apply successful education strategies. Integrated data collection was an element of each of the programs. Participants reported on baseline consumption characteristics, the installation of energy efficiency measures, and the adoption of savings actions. The savings estimates were drawn from these data, and the results have been impressive. Iowa Utilities Association Iowa’s investor-owned utilities (Aquila, ...

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