What Can We Learn From High Frequency Appliance Level Energy Metering? Results From A Field Experiment

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

This study uses hourly appliance-level electricity consumption data for 124 apartments over 24 months 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 60% and underestimate HVAC and plug-load by 40%. We find that similar households using the same major appliances exhibit substantial variation in appliance-level electricity consumption. Additionally, we show that behavior accounts for 25-58% 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%, which 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 Policy

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