The abstract entitled SAVE ENERGY: Behavlets and the use of a pattern language for energy efficiency in European Public Buildings (co-authored by José Luiz Moutinho, Ben Cowley and Alvaro Oliveira) has been selected for a oral presentation at the 2010 Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference.
The abstract was selected from nearly 500 exceptionally high quality submissions; the review committee was impressed by its relevance, clarity of thought, and fit with the overall conference program. The presentation will part of the Behavior Topic: International Behavioral Insights concurrent sessions moderated by Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez, from University of Colorado, on the morning of November, 15.
The 2010 Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference is the fourth annual conference focused on understanding the nature of individual and organizational behavior and decision making, and using that knowledge to accelerate our transition to an energy-efficient and low carbon economy. It will bring together a diverse group of policymakers, social scientists, program implementers, media, and energy experts to explore the practical application of social and behavioral insights to address our energy and climate challenges.
Desktop research and interviews were conducted by the SAVE ENERGY consortium to identify critical incidents in terms of energy efficiency behavior concerning work places (e.g. unplugging any electrical device that’s not being used). These critical incidents are in fact basic actions that people could perform and affect directly or indirectly the building’s energy consumption. Building upon these critical incidents, the concept of Behavlet was developed to become a unit of behavior transformation structured around actions, resources and outcomes. The idea behind the Behavlet concept is to identify and make behavior transformation possible and measurable through a loosely-coupled collection of simple, objective and measurable patterns to save energy. This language of patterns not only makes it easier to understand the real issues, but, most important of all, make it natural to share new knowledge.
In fact, Behavlets are discrete components composed by one or more resources, in general an appliance and an equipment (e.g. mobile charger), which are linked with actions (e.g. unplug the mobile charger when not in use / leave the mobile charger plugged in even when not being used) to produce some expected outcome (20-25% energy savings). Pilots Virtual Environment will emulate some of the conditions of the pilot, namely building envelope, occupancy and functions, and will point out the mix of resources on each Behavlet. On the other hand, known or expected behavior patterns from best practices, literature or direct observation will feed the range of actions which users can perform to change the status of the resource. The outcome will be compared with energy consumption data and will be the basic building blocks of Behavior Transformation.
Behavlets address the challenges to close the attitude-behavior gap between the awareness that energy waste is a problem and behavioral transformation to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse emissions.
SAVE ENERGY’s mini-games make use of the Behavlet concept to aggregate a set of patterns applicable to a specific situation (e.g. turning off the lights or closing water taps) within the context of the workplace. In fact, the mini-games are instrumental to make the energy saving patterns understandable and repeatable until achieving behavior transformation. The mini-games will be then linked to each one of the pilots by assembling the most relevant patterns indentified by the relevant stakeholder in one or more Behavlet Sets (Language of Patterns) which will provide a broad range of actions and expected outcomes which focus on the behavior change of the individual to influence the whole community at a macro level.