Starbucks Employees Compete in Energy Savings Pilot Program
July 12, 2012
Starbucks is partnering with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and a group of Northwest public utilities to see if employee behavior changes can yield significant energy savings to the region.
BPA has awarded cooperative agreements for future work on behavior-based energy efficiency pilot projects to Snohomish County Public Utility District, Cowlitz Public Utility District and Clark Public Utilities. The three public utilities were selected after a competitive process conducted by BPA.
The Snohomish County Public Utility District’s pilot project is a collaboration between Snohomish County Public Utility District, PECI, Lucid, Puget Sound Energy and Starbucks. The program gathers real time energy use data and provides access to information via a web-based portal. Employees will be encouraged to engage in the pilot by facilitating an intra-store energy-saving competition.
Unlike traditional energy-efficiency measures that focus on the adoption of technologies such as energy-efficient appliances and lighting to save energy, behavior-based programs achieve energy savings through changes in individual or organizational behavior and decision-making.
Waste management, healthcare and transportation industries have been applying behavior-based approaches for years, while utilities and others in the energy industry have only recently began using them as a means for encouraging energy savings.
"Science helps us to understand behavior change. So we’re excited to learn what strategies and tactics will motivate consumers and organizations to change their energy use habits," said Summer Goodwin, BPA behavior-based energy efficiency program lead.
The behavior-based energy efficiency pilots are a step toward the development of infrastructure and policies that Northwest public utilities can use to operate behavior-based energy efficiency programs in residential, commercial and industrial sectors.
BPA has committed up to $300,000 in funding per year. First phase results from the behavior-based energy efficiency pilots are expected in 2013.
BPA is a non-profit federal agency that markets renewable hydropower from federal Columbia River dams, operates three-quarters of high-voltage transmission lines in the Northwest and funds one of the largest wildlife protection and restoration programs in the world.
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