Decreasing Energy Costs in Federally Assisted Housing
What was the challenge?
Public Housing utilities cost more than $1 billion per year, which can affect other HUD programs. Residents may be willing to engage in conservation behaviors, but may not know what actions will be effective or what steps to take to reduce energy use.
What was the program change?
OES sent flyers with either one or five energy-saving tips to a random sample of housing units at seven New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments.
How did the evaluation work?
OES randomized 2,796 apartment units to be sent no flyer, a single-tip flyer, or a multiple-tips flyer. Wireless energy monitors recorded unit-level daily energy consumption.
What was the impact?
Energy use among the units that were sent any flyer (single- or multiple-tips) was 0.235 kWh per day lower than units that were not sent a flyer, but this difference was not statistically significant. Future work will build on this study to examine how informational communications can have greater impact on energy use and costs.
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