Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Changing energy habits may have a simple solution

Date:
May 19, 2014
Source:
Clarkson University
Summary:
What makes people use less energy? For many, it's the cost: economic, environmental or both. Costs are only made clear, though, in a monthly utility bill. And that's something millions of Americans never see, including renters and students. A Smart Housing Project is the first of its kind in the United States to take an interdisciplinary look at how technology can change behavior around the daily use of water and power.

Clarkson University Ph.D. student Patrick F. Wilbur displays some of the electronics being used to collect data in Clarkson University housing. Clarkson’s Smart Housing Project is the first of its kind in the nation to take an interdisciplinary look at how technology can change behavior around the daily use of water and power.
Credit: Image courtesy of Clarkson University

Clarkson University's Smart Housing Project is the first of its kind in the nation to take an interdisciplinary look at how technology can change behavior around the daily use of water and power.

Related Articles


What makes people use less energy? For many, it's the cost: economic, environmental or both. Costs are only made clear, though, in a monthly utility bill. And that's something millions of Americans never see.

These are people who live in various types of housing where power is part of the rent. This group includes more than half a million New Yorkers that live in college residence halls. Across the U.S., student housing accommodates 13 million people for about nine months a year.

"That's a lot of people who have access to a thermostat but never get a heating bill," says Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Political Science Stephen Bird. His work in energy policy includes in-depth research on the "split incentive" problem.

"Essentially," he says, "it's any situation where the benefits people receive aren't in line with the amount of money they pay. But in this case, the students are drawing large amounts of energy which, in turn, loads the power grid and consumes natural resources expensively and inefficiently."

The fix may be remarkably simple -- and not too expensive, either.

"If we can show students how much energy they use," Bird says, "if they see the impact of turning up the heat in winter or spending 15 minutes in the shower instead of five, we expect their behavior will change, dramatically."

So, how can students see energy use? With a dashboard -- a digital readout -- showing the amount of electricity and water flowing into their living space. As Clarkson University's Woodstock Village student apartments went through extensive renovations last summer, faculty and students installed sensors and other data collecting elements.

"There's an enormous potential here to help people make more sustainable choices," says Clarkson Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering Kerop Janoyan, who is working with Bird on the project. "Because once you quantify energy usage, you start looking at renewable sources of energy."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Clarkson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Clarkson University. "Changing energy habits may have a simple solution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519160527.htm>.
Clarkson University. (2014, May 19). Changing energy habits may have a simple solution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519160527.htm
Clarkson University. "Changing energy habits may have a simple solution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519160527.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) — Microsoft's Q3 earnings showed its tablets and cloud services are really hitting their stride. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins