Military families at Travis Air Force Base in California recently took part in a pilot program to conserve energy and reduce related costs. The results of this program are now in, with a reported 18 percent energy savings based upon behavior changes the participants undertook after coaching and tools were provided.
Balfour Beatty Energy Solutions, part of a larger family of companies which are responsible for the development, renovation, operation and management of military privatization housing projects, handled the program with the families. After collecting data upon energy usage patterns, in-home coaching visits as well as personalized recommendations were offered. Pledges were given to adhere to energy savings actions, which participants could actively track in the form of electricity usage information through in-home energy monitors. Also, throughout the project, points were awarded to residents for reaching certain energy savings standards. These points were redeemable as gift cards for use at base food outlets.
Twenty-one military families completed the program, which is designed to respond to “requirements from the Office of the Secretary of Defense that each military branch work with their respective privatized family housing partner to develop procedures for military members to be responsible for their energy consumption.”
Results from the pilot program, which will be expanded to other military communities, showcased several interesting results. Besides the 18 percent energy savings, it was also found that residents became more “energy conscious,” going beyond the initial pledge to find new ways to reduce energy consumption. Furthermore, independent surveys found “an increase in resident satisfaction at the conclusion of the program, as participants were excited to see that their actions and efforts successfully reduced costs and saved energy, resulting in concrete, lasting benefits.”
“Education alone does not catalyze sustained energy savings from adults,” said Tabitha Crawford, President of Balfour Beatty Energy Solutions, in a statement. “Long-term behavior change is achieved with a combination of relevant, personalized feedback, with proven social modeling and marketing techniques. The most vital take-away from our pilot project at Travis AFB is that it is entirely possible to significantly change energy consumption habits, even for residents who do not pay their own energy costs.”
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