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Models of behavior change and residential energy use: A review of research directions and findings for behavior-based energy efficiency


Energy efficiency through change of energy-related behavior represents a significant promise in terms of energy savings. Building occupants' behavior has a great influence on final energy consumption, and although behavioral savings potentials were usually omitted, there is, currently, a revitalized research interest in applying social and behavioral science to energy efficiency research. The research focuses mainly on the residential sector, attempting to explore the relationships between energy use, behavioral determinants, and effective strategies to promote more efficient behaviors. While the promise is significant, it is also clear that not only the complexity of behaviors but also our interpretation and elaboration of existing volume of behavior change theory, create a set of challenges that research should overcome, if it is to move towards a more integrated approach. This paper presents a review of literature on energy behavior as a basis to understand how behavior change occurs, what the main determinants of behavior are, how these are related to applied interventions focusing on altering residential energy use, and finally how all these aspects can be evaluated. Issues for further research are identified.