Employee engagement in energy efficiency

Research question: Immediacy vs. delay of feedback, individual goals, social norms


Partners: Swiss Mobiliar Insurance, University of Lausanne, University of Bonn (and hardware provider Amphiro AG)


Principal investigator: Verena Tiefenbeck


Core team: Lorenz Goette (University of Bonn), Thorsten Staake, Samuel Schoeb, Gundula Heinatz-Bürki (ETH Zürich)


Budget: CHF 180’000


Timeframe: project launch: August 2014, field deployments: Sept-Oct 2014 (pilot), Jan-March 2015 (main study), data analysis ongoing


Data collected: Measurement data from smart shower meters installed in 800 Swiss households (employees of Mobiliar), survey









Encouraged by the results of the earlier ewz-Amphiro-study, this randomized controlled trial evaluates the effects of and mechanisms behind different feedback interventions that target water and energy consumption. Focal points of the study are to better understand (i) the time- criticality of feedback, the value of tailored goals, (ii) the interplay of real-time vs . delayed feedback and goals with social normative feedback, and (iii) the factors facilitating technology adoption and use. A total of 800 households all over Switzerland have been recruited for the randomized controlled field trial. In each household, detailed data on shower use were recorded over two months. In addition to the measurements data, surveys data were collected before and after the intervention.  The corporate partner for this project (Swiss Mobiliar) funds the measurement devices as part of her sustainability engagement program and promotes participation in the energy efficiency campaign among her employees.