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Changing Behavior to Save Energy

thermostat_blogEquipment retrofits are complicated, expensive, and can take months or years to implement, but behavioral changes produce immediate energy and monetary savings.

In a recent EnergyCAP-hosted webinar, Matthew Cherrin, Energy Conservation Educator at University of New Mexico (UNM) described the behavior-based process used by UNM to achieve energy conservation success over the past decade.

UNM employs a team of five Energy Conservation Specialists who are tasked with on-going evaluation of the university’s 12 million usable square feet of facilities. The team, per Matt, is “constantly searching for nickels and dimes,” the zero-cost and low-cost energy conservation opportunities that add up to tremendous energy and monetary savings.

A decade of consistent energy conservation success is based on a highly repetitive process of benchmarking, issue identification, planning, and non-stop communication with building occupants and maintenance staff. Matt noted that it’s very important to “Let them know that what they are doing is making a difference.”

Since 2008, UNM’s behavioral change efforts have produced 22% usage avoidance and a documented cost avoidance of more than $52 million.


We greatly appreciate Matt’s time and willingness to share his team’s efforts and successes via the webinar. I encourage you to view the webinar in its entirety at https://www.energycap.com/webinars to learn more about how the entire UNM system has and continues to produce energy savings through behavior modification.