Sensors & Behavior (ARPA-E) > Behavioral Interventions

Energy Behavior Taxonomy

A fundamental necessity to effective energy behavior change is to characterize desired behaviors. Does the behavior require much skill? Is it expensive? Must it be performed just once or several times a day? Will energy and economic savings be substantial or small?


Investigators: June Flora, Hilary Boudet, Carrie Armel, Maria Roumpani

Energy actions or behaviors, such as purchasing a refrigerator, turning off lights and cleaning a heating filter, are driven by various factors and can be described along different dimensions. Properly characterized and clustered behaviors can aid scholars, policy makers and energy industry professionals in prioritizing desired behaviors, targeting appropriate consumers and understanding relevant barriers.

This project developed a comprehensive set of 261 residential energy-efficiency behaviors and identified ten different attributes for classifying the behaviors. Next, the investigators developed a rating classification scheme and explored how the behaviors clustered together based on the ratings on these attributes. They also developed a framework for the systematic study of behavior attributes and how they cluster.

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Publications and Presentations

Attributes of Energy Reduction Behaviors
Behavior, Energy & Climate Change Conference
Roumpani, M., Flora, J.A., Boudet, H., Armel, C. (2011)

The behavior change attribute framework applied to residential energy behavior
Boudet, H., Flora, J.A., Armel, C., Roumpani, M. (under review).

Validation of a public data base of residential energy behaviors
Flora, J.A., Boudet, H., Armel, C. Roumpani, M. (in preparation)

Future work

Researchers plan to extend their behavior change attribute framework and analytic techniques to transportation and food. In addition, they are examining survey ratings of behavior use, intentions to use, confidence in long term use, and barriers to use.