How much do people save just by changing their behavior?
Do savings persist after the game?
Whenever we talk about our employee engagement efforts people ask about outcomes. That’s great! Cool Choices believes changing practices helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions – so we have a responsibility to prove it.
The Energy Center of Wisconsin recently evaluated Cool Choices’ work at Miron Construction showing our approach is effective. In the study Center staff analyzed player utility bills before, during and after the Miron game. Then Center staff compared actual changes in usage to actions players reported in the game. Finally, the Center conducted interviews with a sample of players to understand differences between actual savings and reported savings. In those interviews, conducted more than a year after the end of the game, the Center also explored whether participants continued sustainable practices adopted during the game.
What were the results?
The Energy Center of Wisconsin
- Verified that Cool Choices players reduced their electric usage in the game (the median reduction for participants was 6% of household electricity – which is substantial).
- Documented that former Cool Choices players continued sustainable practices. Some one-time practices like programming thermostats to save energy remained a year later in 100% of households interviewed – and repeated practices like turning off game consoles was relatively high with respondents reporting that they maintained the Cool Choices’ sustainable practices 60-79% of the time.
Really great results – but we’re getting even better!
The Energy Center of Wisconsin’s analysis also helped Cool Choices by increasing the accuracy of our savings estimates and clarifying players’ sustainable practices (e.g. we learned that some of the refrigerators players unplugged in the game were not full-size). We have adjusted our estimates to allow for a refrigerator mix including smaller units, and are incorporating other recommended improvements to make things even better.
To learn more about the Center’s findings click for the full report (pdf).