MARCH 7, 2016 — A new research endeavor to identify energy reduction strategies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is underway as part of the Levenick iSEE Fellows Program.
On March 1, iSEE appointed its first two Levenick Fellows: Research Fellow Erica Myers, Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics (ACE), and Scholar Mateus Nogueira Meirelles de Souza, Ph.D. Candidate in ACE. During their time in residence with iSEE, they will examine how individuals on the Urbana-Champaign campus make decisions relating to energy use and test a variety of behavioral intervention strategies to reduce that consumption.
The Levenick iSEE Fellows Program is supported by a $500,000 gift from Illinois alumnus Stuart L. Levenick and his wife Nancy J. Levenick, both of Peoria. It contributes to iSEE’s mission of actionable research — that is, work that leads to lasting, real-world solutions to the world’s current and future sustainability-, energy- and environment-related issues.
The new project will be completed in two phases:
- During spring 2016, Myers and de Souza will work with engineers and building managers on campus to identify behavioral energy savings opportunities related to office and classroom heating and cooling, electronics and lighting.
- In summer and fall 2016, they will design and test the relative effectiveness of behavioral interventions such as educational campaigns, usage information provision, and social comparisons for taking advantage of savings opportunities and reducing energy consumption.
Myers and de Souza plan to share their findings in meetings with University stakeholders, in presentations at academic conferences, and through a publicly published University of Illinois white paper in early 2017.
“Our results will not only be relevant for the U of I in meeting its campus sustainability goals, but for other campus and commercial settings where energy use is not well understood or salient for consumers,” Myers said.