Exploring Data-Driven Electricity Feedback on Energy Conservation Behavior in the University of Dayton Student Neighborhood

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Honors Theses

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https://ecommons.udayton.edu/uhp_theses/11; https://ecommons.udayton.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1018&context=uhp_theses
Esposito, Daniel R.
Physical Sciences and Mathematics; Physics
thesis / dissertation description
In general, homeowners do not have a concrete idea of how much energy their houses are using at any given moment. This energy “invisibility” is thought to be a barrier toward people adopting more sustainable behaviors. This study involves installing energy monitors in houses in the University of Dayton student neighborhood to analyze two important questions: whether the monitors teach students about the relationship between their activities and energy consumption, and whether the monitors influence students to adjust their household behaviors. Due to complications with and uncertainties in the data, quantitative conclusions could not be drawn. Fortunately, data collected from the distribution of questionnaires resulted in insightful conclusions regarding student attitudes and behaviors concerning the monitors. In essence, very few students consistently looked at their energy monitors, but those who did tended to learn from them and change their behaviors. It is recommended that future projects be conducted including further education and sufficient incentives to see whether more students respond to the monitors. Regardless, it can be concluded with confidence that students would be more inclined to save energy should they have to pay their own utility bills. At this time, installing energy monitors in every house would be inadvisable.