What can we learn from high-frequency appliance-level energy metering? Results from a field experiment

V. Chen, M. Delmas, W. Kaiser, S. Locke

This study uses high-frequency appliance-level electricity consumption data for 124 apartments over 24months to provide a better understanding of appliance-level electricity consumption behavior. We conduct our analysis in a standardized set of apartments with similar appliances, which allows us to identify behavioral differences in electricity use. The Results show that households’ estimations of appliance-level consumption are inaccurate and that they overestimate lighting use by 75% and under-estimate plug-load use by 29%. We find that similar households using the same major appliances exhibit substantial variation in appliance-level electricity consumption. For example, households in the 75th percentile of HVAC usage use over four times as much electricity as a user in the 25th percentile.Additionally, we show that behavior accounts for 2558% of this variation. Lastly, we find that replacing the existing refrigerator with a more energy-efficient model leads to overall energy savings of approximately 11%. This is equivalent to results from behavioral interventions targeting all appliances but might not be as cost effective. Our findings have important implications for behavior-based energy conservation policies.

Published Work | 2014 | Energy Title

Download pdf