Students living on campus pay one flat fee for living in university accommodation. While this is much easier for administration and payment, one problem with this is that there is no incentive for students to then moderate how much energy they use in their flats. In reality, students do not get any feedback on their energy usage at all. We are looking to change that. Over the coming months, we will be running a trial in Sherbourne halls of residence posting engaging Energy Reports in each kitchen, giving students this information.
It has been found that merely reporting back to energy consumers how much energy they use reduces the level of consumption. We are hoping to replicate other studies of this kind that have taken place, but in a university setting. Through the design and presentation of these reports, we are using principles of behavioural science to attempt to nudge students towards more energy-conscious behaviours.
We hope to complement the physical posters that will be going up within the kitchens of these flats with emails and also, ideally, visits to the flat to explain the reports. We are always looking for volunteers to help with putting up these signs in the halls and occasionally helping out with face-to-face meetings. We are also looking for anyone that may have some programming skills to help with the automation of the reports using the meter data on the back-end. Please get in touch!
Here's an example of the sort of report we send out as part of this trial. It shows the performance of the flat in comparison to other flats in Sherbuorne, as well as compared to that particular flat's average usage for the last 3 years. The report gives a clear rating of the user's behaviour and offers a helpful hint and fact.