Reflecting on the 2011 Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference

Recently, several members of the Fraunhofer CSE Building Energy Efficiency Group were fortunate to attend the 2011 Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference in Washington, DC, convened by the American Council for an Energy Efficient EconomyUniversity of California’s Institute for Energy and Environment, and Stanford University’s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center. We felt invigorated and inspired spending time with so many passionate experts in social science and policy. Here are a few of my thoughts on the conference, CSE’s involvement, and why I’m already excited for BECC next year.

Dialogues Between Social Scientists and Energy Policymakers

This is the only annual event where social scientists have a productive dialogue with senior-level energy policymakers, engineers, and energy efficiency program developers and coordinators to discuss the practical applications and overall significance of psychological insights for energy efficiency measures and programs. The conference is very diverse, has an excellent atmosphere, and allows people from very different perspectives to learn from each other and establish collaborations.

Inspiration for Future Research Projects

BECC is a great source of ideas for future research directions, to find out what’s hot and what’s not in the energy efficiency world, and to get inspired for a whole year. Last year, as the only participant from CSE, I came away with lots of ideas that helped us develop our behavioral projects for Building America, among other areas. This year we were able to have five conference participants, two talks, a poster presentation, and a post-conference expert meeting on Home Energy Management that we organized for Building America.

Were any of you there? I’d love to hear your thoughts about the conference and what you found most interesting. Look forward to the next installment of BECC next year in Sacramento!

About author
I'm a trained psychologist and the former head of Fraunhofer CSE's Human Factors team. While at CSE, I undertook several studies into human factors affecting residential energy efficiency, including projects looking at the impact of home energy displays and programmable thermostats.
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