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Chapman Sustainability

» Energy Behavior Change in Residence Halls

Research has yet to develop an all-encompassing strategy to promote energy conservation, but there already exists methods of developing behavior change programs. This chapter will use the adaptive management process to create such a program for Chapman University residence halls. It is recommended that pilots incorporate existing data, monitor changes, adjust strategies, and eventually contribute to the emerging field of energy behavior change. Creating an energy-conscious community at Chapman, while a challenge, is possible.

Read more about recommendations for residence hall behavior change in Chapter 7 of the audit of the audit, written by Jacob Lopez.

  • Steps Towards Behavior Change
  • Eco-Olympics
  • While behavior programs may seem complicated, they can be approached through a simplified adaptive management process. The steps in this process, shown in the figure to the left, include the following points. These steps do not need to be completed in any particular order but they should all be accomplished at some point.

     Phase 1: Evaluation

    Diagram of phases for behavior change explained in the supporting text
    • Analysis of existing data
      • Results of Eco-Olympics 2014
      • Student demographics
      • Environmental Audit Survey responses

    Phase 2: Planning

    • Planning Strategies for positive behavior change
      • Make first-years the target demographic
      • Establish a baseline kWh per student
      • Set a time frame

    Phase 3: Implement

    • Implementing these strategies
      • Invest in social capital
      • Community building
      • Monitor and Adjust
  • The 2014 Eco-Olympics resulted from a collaborative effort between Facilities Management, The Office of Housing and Residence Life, and on-campus students. It was Chapman's first major attempt in implementing a behavior change program to promote energy efficiency. The results showed a median of 17% reduction in energy use versus the baseline. Since it was the first year the Eco-Olympics were held, its long-term impact cannot yet be determined. The figure below displays a comparison between energy use during the Eco-Olympics and the previous year for Pralle-Sodaro Hall.

    Pralle Hall energy use comparison bar graph