Residential Energy Report Card for University Students for Driving Behavioral Energy Reduction and for Measuring Behavior Impact on Consumption

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering


Department of Mechanical Engineering


Advisor: Kevin Hallinan


Prior research has shown that occupant behavior in residences accounts for nearly 50% of the energy consumption. It has also emphasized the need to strengthen the interdisciplinary focus on human dimensions of energy use in order to drive energy reduction. In this context, a behavior energy reduction study has been conducted on over 400 single-family, detached residences located in the Midwest of the US, all owned by a local university, and with a typical occupancy of 4-6 students. The housing set analyzed includes a diversity of houses, with construction years ranging from the early 1900s to current with wide variation in energy efficiency characteristics. For this study, historical energy data spanning the prior two academic years was used to construct predictive energy models for each residence. These models were used as baselines for the present study, offering a means to predict energy use for new weather conditions, thus providing a basis for comparison to actual use during any meter period. For this study, energy report cards were generated each month, including grades for electrical, gas, and overall energy consumption and delivered to each resident of all houses every month. The report cards also documented energy and carbon savings, both for individual residences and the totality of residences. It also identified the top performing residences and provided the most important behavioral energy reduction strategies for any months. Winning houses received Energy GPA champion T-shirts to advertise the initiative and engender competitive desire.Energy savings of 7.8% in natural gas and 5.2% electrical energy was achieved. Moreover, a statistical comparison of the best and worst performing residences enabled estimation of potential behavioral energy reduction throughout the entirety of the housing set.


Energy, Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Energy Efficiency, Energy Report Card, Behavioral Energy Reduction, Utility Energy Data Analysis, Electricity and Gas Data, Weather Normalized Energy Prediction, Energy Data Modeling, Baseline, Heating and Cooling Slope, Energy Saving, Energy GPA

Rights Statement

Copyright 2018, author