Real-time Feedback and Residential Electricity Consumption: The Newfoundland and Labrador Pilot Article uri icon

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abstract

  • A pilot study was undertaken in Newfoundland and Labrador to determine whether provision of a real-time feedback device is sufficient to provide residential customers with the information needed to reduce their electricity consumption. A panel based econometric methodology, which controlled for such factors as weather, appliance and housing stock, and demographic determinants influencing electricity consumption, was used to quantify the impacts of the realtime monitor in reducing energy (kWh) use. The study also provided some important insights about socio-economic factors that influence conservation responsiveness, a feature that may assist in developing targeted energy efficiency programs. For example, the electric water heating households showed a higher savings than non-electric water heating households. While positive attitudes toward conservation significantly increase the reduction in electricity when using the real-time monitor, seniors, in their employment of the real-time monitor, do not conserve as much. Overall, the aggregate reduction in electricity consumption (kWh) across the study sample was 18.1%. The paper describes the experimental design, the data collection, the evaluation model, the conservation results, and customers’ attitudes and perceptions regarding the real-time monitor.