Behavioral Initiatives for Energy Efficiency

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OPEN 2009
Stanford, California
Project Term:
01/14/2010 - 11/30/2016

Technology Description:

A team of researchers from more than 10 departments at Stanford University is collaborating to transform the way Americans interact with our energy-use data. The team built a web-based platform that collects historical electricity data, which it uses to perform a variety of experiments to learn what triggers people to respond. Experiments include new financial incentives, a calculator to understand the potential savings of efficient appliances, new Facebook interface designs, communication studies using Twitter, and educational programs with the Girl Scouts. Economic modeling is underway to better understand how results from the San Francisco Bay Area can be broadened to other parts of the country.

Potential Impact:

If successful, Stanford's web-based energy services platform and new behavioral experiments would help homeowners save energy, improve their energy efficiency, and reduce their monthly utility bills.


Encouraging homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes could help reduce our demand on the grid.


Real-time feedback and personalized recommendations could lead to savings of 10% or more, reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity generation.


Enabling homeowners to save money on their utility bills would allow them to focus more on purchases that provide greater benefit to the economy.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Timothy Heidel
Project Contact:
Prof. James Sweeney
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