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Program Overview
What are behavior based energy efficiency programs?
Behavior based energy efficiency (BBEE) programs focus on energy savings resulting from changes in individual or organizational behavior and decision-making.
Examples of BBEE programs
  • Provide residential end-users with information on their energy use, comparisons with usage by others, goal setting, rewards and additional tactics that encourage efficient energy use.
  • Assist commercial end-users to benchmark their building(s) energy use and improve operating performance through building or equipment tune-ups and changes to O&M routines.
BBEE programs are growing in prominence around the country, and represent a source of energy savings beyond traditional utility programs focused on encouraging adoption of EE technology. There is a substantial body of knowledge and experience associated with behavior change that is rooted in the social sciences. Waste management, healthcare and transportation industries have been applying behavior based approaches for some time. Utilities and others in the energy industry are now using it as a means for encouraging energy efficiency and savings. While the promise of BBEE programs (in terms of energy savings) is significant, there is much to be learned about effective strategies and tactics to motivate consumers, persistence, and effective methods to evaluate the energy savings.
In 2010, BPA initiated a behavior change strategy which aims to enable, validate and increase the amount and persistence of energy savings achieved through behavior based energy efficiency programs in the Northwest.
Strategy Objectives
  • ​Monitor and assess national and regional behavior based energy efficiency (BBEE) programs and activities, identify and promote use of best practices.
  • Create policies that help build program infrastructure that all Northwest public utilities can use to operate BBEE programs and achieve related energy savings.
  • Collaborate with Northwest public utilities and market partners to implement and evaluate innovative BBEE pilot programs.
BPA customers can use the custom program path's evaluated custom program track to seek approval and reimbursement for verified savings from BBEE programs. See the Implementation Manual for details. BPA also convenes monthly conference calls for its public utility customers who are interested in behavior based energy efficiency programs. Announcements are made through EE's weekly announcements. There is a behavior based energy efficiency group on Conduit for those who are interested in following regional activities and discussions.
In 2011, BPA issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement for innovative BBEE pilots. Snohomish County Public Utility District, Cowlitz Public Utility District and Clark Public Utilities' applications were selected after a competitive process conducted by BPA. BPA is collaborating with these utility customers and their market partners to implement and evaluate innovative BBEE pilot programs. These pilots enable the region to advance its collective knowledge, experience and understanding of BBEE program strategies and tactics for further engaging energy consumers to achieve greater levels of behavior based energy savings. Read the press release. BPA invited additional applications for Financial Assistance for Innovative Behavior Based Energy Efficiency Pilots in 2012 and 2013.