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Title: Using behavioural analysis to reduce domestic fuel consumption in Northern Ireland : feedback and goal-setting interventions to conserve electricity
Author: Frazer, Patricia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 0163
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2010
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Feedback and goal-setting interventions were used in two separate studies to reduce residential electricity use in households in Northern Ireland. In Study 1 feedback was provided via a pre-payment keypad electricity meter, and the goal commitment was to reduce electricity use by 20%. Electricity use during a one-month intervention was compared to that during the same period in the previous year. The ten households who received feedback reduced their use by a mean 17.13% (p< .0 I, r = 0.69), and the nine households who signed a goal-setting commitment reduced their use by a mean 7.12% (p < .05, r = .067). Study 2 used wireless energy monitors to provide feedback, in combination with a 20% goal-setting commitment for all participants, but also used alternating orders of presentation of intervention and baseline to explore the longer-term effect of feedback on conservation performance. Group 1 received five months of feedback followed by five months of baseline, Group 2 underwent five months of baseline followed by five months of intervention, and Group 3 experienced alternating two-month periods of intervention and baseline over ten months, using a reversal design. Group 1 saved a mean 9.54% of electricity during the intervention, but Group 2 increased their use by a mean 14.24%. Group 2's increase in electricity use is explained in terms of a potential 'compensation effect', whereby lower level users increase use when given feedback. Group 3 showed a pattern of cumulative reductions over successive interventions, with a mean reduction in electricity use of 33% from the first to the third intervention period. Participants in Group 3 did not show a return to baseline levels of electricity use when the intervention was removed; this was interpreted as supportive of conceptions of feedback as a learning tool, with potential to provide long lasting conservation effects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available