The Energy Challenge'D: Crowdsourcing for Energy Efficiency

Shriver-E_HR_.jpgCEE understands that efficient technologies alone will not save energy. Consumer behavior plays a role in energy consumption, so our program design incorporates use strategies from behavioral psychology. We also like to use social media and other communication channels to educate about energy! In this post, Minnesota Energy Challenge Coordinator Emma Shriverand I explain our latest experiment: The Energy Challenge’D.


Several recent projects have demonstrated how online crowdsourcing can solve problems, share resources, and spread enthusiasm. Scientists at Carnegie Mellon and Stanford developed a game that allows everyday people to help discover RNA design principles, mushroom hunters around the world contribute to an identification guide, and anyone with internet access can take a survey supporting research to prevent the common cold.

So... could we use crowdsourcing to gather energy data or encourage efficiency?

Project strategies

Use social norms to draw attention to wasted energy.


“The first thing we think you need to do is wake someone up to their unconscious behavior” - Ann Head, Vice President of Shelton Group

41a.gifMany people do not realize that their behavior is not in line with their beliefs. To help people realize this you can draw attention to the idea that the current behavior is against social norms, and ultimately their beliefs. This creates an uncomfortable feeling which often motivates behavior change. Along with using social norms to change behavior, shaming has helped motivate healthy eating in certain cultures. The Energy Challenge’D uses shaming mildly. Similar to your friend tapping you on the shoulder to ask “hey - why are you doing this?”

This is important when promoting energy efficiency behaviors since many people support energy efficiency in principle, but have a hard time actually adopting new behaviors.

Take a lighthearted approach to engage a wider audience.

When we focus too much on the bad and negative situations we stop learning how to fix them.  

One way we are making this project lighthearted and approachable to a wide audience is to host it on the Minnesota Energy Challenge website. Over the past six years, the Energy Challenge has made personal connections with homeowners throughout Minnesota with its fun and usable design. 

We are also incorporating an interactive and competitive component. To conclude the project, we’ll ask participants to vote for the ultimate Energy Challenge’D picture.

Provide resources to guide and empower energy actions.

ice-dams.jpgThe Energy Challenge’D will draw attention to programs that the general public may otherwise ignore. But once a building operator or homeowner recognizes energy waste, does he or she know what to do next? 

CEE’s programs are designed to eliminate the barriers to making energy improvements. The Energy Challenge’D website will link to information or programs to help solve the wide range of energy efficiency issues highlighted in the photo submissions. 

Care to contribute?

  1. Snap a photo of Energy Challenge’D things you see throughout your day and share them with us withFacebookTwitter, or e-mail (eshriver@mncee.org)! We will share them on our Flickr page for everyone to see.
  2. After the photo submission deadline you will have a week to vote for your favorite pictures in the categories of commercial, transportation, and residential. (When the voting opens we will add a link to this page.)
  3. Remember, this isn’t ALL fun and games. Make sure to check out the solutions page to find out how CEE can help you become more energy efficient.

 

Related posts:

Online Engagement for Energy Savings

Tracking the "Look" of Energy on Pinterest

Anatomy of the Energy Drips Video

Image credit: 

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  James Cridland

Views: 267

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

eric anderson replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"This is my no calculations half assed energy based  renovation suggestions- First off,…"
9 minutes ago
Ed Minch commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post Energy Out West 2014
"We have been in the instrumented energy auditing and retrofitting business since 1981 and we have…"
45 minutes ago
Allison A. Bailes III commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post Energy Out West 2014
"Great article, Jim. I run into cynics, too, and not only are they unrealistic, but they're…"
45 minutes ago
Everblue posted events
59 minutes ago
Stephanie@SaveOnEnergy posted a video

Powered by SaveOnEnergy.com

Ask Kim - How to Read Your Meter

In this episode, Kim explains how to read your electricity meter either to monitor your own consumption or to double check your bill.
1 hour ago
Tom Mallard replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"I've been working on simple thermal upgrades and for collecting heat the roof is a best place…"
2 hours ago
Chris Dorsi posted an event
Thumbnail

2014 Habitat X Summer National Conference at Chico Hot Springs

August 25, 2014 to August 28, 2014
The 2014 Habitat X Summer National Conference will take place at Chico Hot Springs, just down the…See More
2 hours ago
Mst. Fatema Aktar is now a member of Home Energy Pros
12 hours ago
Robert Leone added a discussion to the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
Thumbnail

Blower Door Package for Sale

Hi,I am selling my blower door with extras as a package or individually. These items are used but…See More
18 hours ago
Profile IconRobert Leone and Richard Vito joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
18 hours ago
Richard Vito joined Sean Lintow Sr's group
Thumbnail

Best Practices (Residential)

Best Building, Retrofitting, or even Auditing Practices - what are they, what should change, what…See More
yesterday
Richard Vito joined James Sayers's group
Thumbnail

Marketing Energy Efficiency

Sharing ideas, tools and examples of promoting energy efficiency to consumersSee More
yesterday

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service