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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.
Background
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.
 
Pilots
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. If you are a utility interested in funding for an innovative behavior based energy efficiency pilot, please contact Jess Kincaid at jbkincaid@bpa.gov.
Resources
Call Summaries and Presentations
June 2013 call presentation - Lessons Learned from Fort Collins Utilities
July 2012 call presentation - Puget Sound Energy Home Energy Reports: Three Year Review
December 2011 call presentation - Cape Light Compact Smart Home Energy Monitoring Pilot
October 2011 call presentation - BC Hydro's Behavior Change Program
September 2011 call presentation - WMECO Western Mass Saves
July 2011 call presentation - Seattle City Light Home Energy Reports
June 2011 call presentation - Snohomish PUD Energy Challenge
April 2011 call summary
March 2011 call summary
 
Contact
For more information, please contact Jess Kincaid at jbkincaid@bpa.gov.