Buildings are one of the major consumers of energy in the U.S. Both commercial and
residential buildings account for about 42% of the national U.S. energy consumption.
The majority of commercial buildings energy consumption is attributed to lighting
(25%), space heating and cooling (25%), and ventilation (7%). Several research
studies and industrial developments have focused on energy management based on
maximum occupancy. However, fewer studies, with the objective of energy savings,
have considered human preferences. This research focuses on office buildings’
occupants’ preferences and their contribution to the building energy conservation.
Accordingly, occupants of selected university campus offices were asked to reduce
lighting levels in their offices during work hours. Different types of information
regarding their energy consumption were provided to the occupants. Email messages
were used to communicate with the occupants. To monitor behavioral changes during
the study, the test bed offices were equipped with wireless light sensors. The
deployed light sensors were capable of detecting variations in light intensity, which
was correlated with energy consumption. The impact of different types of information
on occupant’s energy related behavior is presented.