Education and Information Vital to Save Energy

FOR PUBLIC and private sector organisations to become energy efficient more is needed than technology, at least according to a new study.

Kathryn Janda, a researcher at the UK Energy Research Centre, authored a report which revealed the importance of educating and informing people about energy use, efficiency and hence changing habits for longer term benefits.

According to Janda’s studies, around 50 percent of our energy use is down to personal actions and choices. She looked at US energy data showing that ‘zero-energy’ buildings used less energy than the average, but still displayed the same variance across high, medium and low energy use..

Writing for Architectural Science Review, Janda revealed that the personal actions by individuals account for about half of energy consumption while other factors, like building performance, make up the rest.

Studies further indicated that education and information on its own is not enough, users also respond to feedback from energy use data, such as real-time energy data displays.

Janda suggested: “If government supported research and teaching in this vital area, we could move towards developing the ‘smart; people needed to maximise building performance.”

Graphic by DRB62

Tuesday 22nd February 2011

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