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A Behavior-Based Approach to Energy Awareness

An established nonprofit organization that manages five continuing care retirement communities across the US provides life-enhancing services and skilled care for adults living independently or in assisted living.

THE PROBLEM

With a strong commitment to sustainability, the nonprofit sought to manage its utility expenses more efficiently and raise awareness about mindful energy consumption among the more than 4,000 residents of its retirement communities.

THE SOLUTION

To save energy in a retirement community requires support and cooperation from its residents. The organization turned to ProKarma which brings extensive experience in Energy Management Solutions, for help with this challenge.

The EMS team began with a behavior-based approach to effect the desired change inside the organization and among the members of its communities. Residents were given direct feedback on energy consumption via smart meters paired with in-home displays that featured a touch-based energy analytics application built using Agile methodology on Visual Studio 2012, Windows Communication Foundation REST services, Android mobile technology and SQL server 2012. Frequent, detailed bills with historical and/or comparative information provided indirect feedback on energy use.

Following these feedback mechanisms, the EMS team partnered with the client to help residents set individual energy-saving targets and establish community-based initiatives that included focus groups and forums designed to facilitate the sharing of information between groups. The team also provided energy audits to enable the nonprofit to implement energy efficiency measures in specific environments.

Together, these tactics allowed community leaders and residents to more easily monitor energy spend and consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, local weather data and more. The analytics application also let users compare their energy consumption with those at similar facilities and receive valuable energy-saving tips and updates about upcoming events.

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