News Article
February 1, 2014

Energy Efficiency How-To's

How to Sell More Energy Efficient Products in HVAC

How to Sell More Energy Efficient Products in HVAC Building occupant behavior is certainly a focus when addressing energy consumption and efficiency, but also important is HVAC technicians’ and contractors’ behavior in their role of maintaining equipment, and providing energy efficiency to their customers. That’s the focus of research by Kristin Heinemeier, Principal Engineer at UC Davis’ Western Cooling Efficiency Center. Her presentation at ACEEE’s 2013 Behavior, Energy & Climate Change Conference, “Behavioral and Social Impacts on HVAC Energy Efficiency: Beyond the End User,” describes her work in the HVAC Behavioral Research Initiative. Since technicians are the people directly interfacing with facility owners, the way they see their role can greatly affect the energy efficiency of the home or building. Kristin hopes that her research can lead to programs that influence both technicians and building owners to promote energy efficiency. More on the HVAC Behavioral research initiative can be found here:


How to Use Interactive Technology to Inspire People to Save Energy

How to Use Interactive Technology to Inspire People to Save EnergySusan Hunt Stevens, CEO of Practically Green, talked about “Driving Behavior Change Through Persuasive Technology,” in her presentation at ACEEE’s 2013 Behavior, Energy & Climate Change Conference. She describes the way interactive technology can be used in the workplace to inspire people to change their behaviors to conserve energy and water and reduce waste, while driving measurable results against environmental and financial goals. Practically Green is a workplace employee engagement program that “builds awareness, drives action and produces measurable results” for companies. Susan describes how two of her customers, Caesars Entertainment and Sony, have used the program to green their workspaces, meet carbon reduction goals, improve employees’ attitudes toward their company, and improve customer loyalty.


How to Make ‘Cool’ Choices

How to Make 'Cool' Choices Presentations from Kathy Kuntz and Ingo Bensch at ACEEE’s 2013 Behavior, Energy & Climate Change Conference highlight impact evaluations and trend data from the Cool Choices game.  Cool Choices is an organization that implements employee engagement games in which employees form teams and get points for taking sustainable actions. In Ingo’s talk, “From Participants to Kilowatt-Hours: An Impact Evaluation of a Game,” he presents results from employees participation in the game and discusses some of the findings associated with energy savings. Kathy discusses her presentation, “From Eco-Driving to Thermostats: Behaviors Real People Will Adopt,” sharing the trends she sees in the types of activities people report doing and the new practices the game has helped promote in their lives. Ingo and Kathy agree that the Cool Choices game helps leaders better understand the behavior change opportunities in their organizations and where the greatest opportunities for impacts lie.


How Benchmarking Ordinances Promote Energy-Efficient Behavior

How Benchmarking Ordinances Promote Energy-Efficient Behavior Seattle, through its Office of Sustainability and Environment, is one of just a handful of cities that have adopted ordinances requiring non-residential and multi-family buildings over 20,000 square feet to track energy consumption data in the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. Nicole Ballinger, Energy Benchmarking Outreach Advisor, presented "Promoting Energy-Efficient Behaviors through Energy Benchmarking Ordinances" at ACEEE’s 2013 Behavior, Energy & Climate Change Conference. Nicole explains the wealth of information the city is gathering about its building stock. What’s more, the city is striving to move beyond simply gathering data to having people use the data to improve energy efficiency of their buildings. The city has focused on outreach and engagement as a strategy to promote and increase adoption of benchmarking of buildings and to give purpose to the data collected. In other words, Seattle is focusing on outreach not only to make sure buildings comply with the ordinance, but also to learn how to use the data to reduce energy use, such as through feedback loops after building energy data is tracked. This aggregate information will then inform policies and outreach.

More on Seattle’s program can be found here:


February 2014