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Promoting Sustainable Energy Use

2014-2015 PARTNERS: CITIZENS UTILITY BOARD, ELEVATE ENERGY, FAITH IN PLACE

ARCHEWORKS developed innovative campaigns and strategies to promote efficient energy use in Chicago communities, with a focus on empowering residents to realize the benefits of a modern electric grid. The design team worked with our partner organizations to develop concepts that educate about individual energy consumption, create excitement about efficiency programs and tools, and encourage residents to adopt energy-conscious behaviors in their daily lives. By highlighting the economic and environmental benefits of a modern, efficient electric grid, the project sought to influence changes in energy use behavior among residents, resulting in improved energy efficiency in Chicago neighborhoods and a more sustainable future for our city.

The ARCHEWORKS design team began their research by evaluating the current energy education and outreach efforts of Citizens Utility Board, Elevate Energy and Faith in Place. After attending multiple outreach events, the team identified three key challenges to motivating changes in energy use behaviors: apathy, confusion, and scale. The team sought to increase awareness of energy consumption by making energy more tangible and leveraging moments when individuals are thinking most about their energy use. Concepts included energy harvesting devices, structures, environments and experiences that engage users and disrupt normal patterns of energy use. To reinforce and complement the outreach efforts of our partners, the team developed messaging to reframe the benefits of energy use reduction and provide tools to convert initial interest into real behavioral change. The team also proposed strategies to increase impact by employing multiple communication channels and leveraging social ties to target diverse communities.

Funder: Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation