Hawaii is one of the few states in the United States that utilizes crude oil to produce electricity. This practice has been shown to produce harmful emissions that damage the environment and contribute significantly to climate change. The first step towards reducing our demand for imported oil is to be conscious of and to reduce our oil consumption by increasing energy efficiency. Previous research has shown that low-income, multi-family, rental households utilized significantly more electricity per square foot than other types of households. Furthermore, energy efficient upgrades are most likely to be done when individuals recognize the financial benefits and environmental impacts of these upgrades. This project developed an asynchronous web-based instructional module to best inform the rental household target population about their options for greater energy efficiency and their benefits. The pre- and post-survey results revealed greater potential for behavioral change when financial incentives are realized and energy users are directly accountable for their electric bill.
Sean Walsh, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Wailuku, USA