Energy Awareness and Education to Meet Net Zero Energy

J. Day
Washington State University, Washington, United States

Keywords: energy efficiency, behaviors, occupant energy awareness

The purpose of this research is to study the interaction of occupants with their work environment to determine how energy awareness and education can support the military's pursuit of a net zero energy state. No technology has been developed, but a potential process for supporting behavior-based occupant interactions with buildings has been developed. This research presents multiple case studies, which have been synthesized to offer (1) insights gained from existing high performance and net-zero buildings, (2) common issues to avoid and lessons learned, and (3) suggestions for occupant education surrounding energy-saving design strategies. Understanding occupant interactions with high-performance buildings can help inform design (and policy) strategies that foster positive occupant and energy outcomes. This process is different from existing technologies in many ways. This solution for energy efficiency is not based on a technology or widget; it relies on behavior-change strategies and energy awareness to transform occupant behaviors. Millions of dollars can be spent on one building and high-cost technologies to ensure energy efficiency. However, people's actions can significantly reduce (or wipe-out) potential building energy savings if they do not understand how to operate the building in an energy-efficient manner. Robust energy awareness programs may help mitigate these issues.