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Energy Literacy Research


									Energy Literacy Research

                Cathy Dwyer
How can we reduce energy use?
       High prices are effective way to reduce energy use,
        however they cause serious impacts in the broader
       High prices are a blunt weapon for reducing energy use,
        since they act as a significant drag on economic activity
       What other means do we have to reduce energy use?
       Goal of this research is to examine attitudes towards and
        energy and their impact on decisions to use energy

    2                       Sustainability Workshop, AMCIS 2009
Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1985)

3               Sustainability Workshop, AMCIS 2009
4   Sustainability Workshop, AMCIS 2009
Energy Literacy
       Literacy is understood to mean conceptual fluency, i.e., a
        high level of mastery over a domain or topic
       Energy Literacy refers to degree of knowledge of the
        complexities related to energy and energy use
       Is the use of computer based analysis and visualization
        tools an effective way to promote Energy Literacy?
       Does an increase in Energy Literacy lead to an increase in
        sustainable energy use behavior?

    5                        Sustainability Workshop, AMCIS 2009
Pilot results of Energy Literacy Measures
       Three Intro to computing classes Fall 2008
       Core course required of all undergraduates, covers Excel,
        Computer Security, HTML, and JavaScript
       Sustainability topics approximately 40% of course content
       Excel energy use assignments, assigned reading and online
        discussion, and group web pages on Energy topic
       50 subjects completed pre and post Energy Literacy
        survey (50/84) = response rate 59%

    6                       Sustainability Workshop, AMCIS 2009
Sustainability Attitude Measures (adapted from New
Environmental Paradigm Scale – NEP)
Pre      Post (1 = SD 7 = SA)
 3.100    2.959 The so-called ecological crisis facing humankind has been greatly exaggerated.
 2.780    3.224 I would be willing to pay a fee for using disposable plastic bags.
 3.878    4.020 I would support a tax on carbon emissions.
 5.960    6.041 We must take stronger measures to conserve our nation's resources.
 4.040 4.417* I would be willing to pay more in taxes to support renewable energy projects.
 3.800    3.796 I plan to participate in events organized by environmental groups.
 3.400 3.041* Environmental regulations have placed unfair burdens on businesses.
 5.000    4.833 When humans interfere with nature it often produces disastrous consequences.
                * p < .05

  7                                   Sustainability Workshop, AMCIS 2009
Sustainability Behaviors (adapted from
Environmentally Responsible Behavior Index)
            About how often have you:
            1) Hardly ever (10%), 2) Sometimes (30%), 3) Frequently (50%),
Pre    Post 4) Most of the time (70%), 5) All the time (90%)
  2.540 2.673 Tried to learn what you can do to help solve environmental issues?
  2.840 3.021 Talked with others about environmental issues?
  2.796 2.771 Tried to convince friends to act responsibly toward the environment?
  3.180 3.163 Recycle cardboard?
  2.760 2.816 Throw recyclables into the trash?
  2.500 2.265 Leave the air conditioner running when leaving home?
  2.620 2.837 Use disposable dishes (paper plates etc.)?
  4.200 4.061 Use public transportation?
  3.240 3.306 Conserve water by turning off the tap when brushing your teeth?
  2.220 2.292 Leave the TV on in an empty room?
  3.960 3.833 Switch off lights in empty rooms?

  8                                 Sustainability Workshop, AMCIS 2009
Attitudes toward Sustainability
            Please select a number that represents your opinion as to who has the
            responsibility for using energy in a sustainable way.
Pre    Post 1) 0%, 2) 20%, 3) 40%, 4) 60%, 5) 80%, 6) 100%
                  Individual citizens must take responsibility for using the earth's resources in a
  4.796 4.490    sustainable way.
                  Businesses and corporations must take responsibility for using the earth's
  4.959 4.531*   resources in a sustainable way.
                  Local governments (state and city level) must take responsibility for using the
  5.040 4.694*   earth's resources in a sustainable way.
                  National governments must take responsibility for using the earth's resources in a
  5.060 4.878    sustainable way.
                 *p < .05

  9                                   Sustainability Workshop, AMCIS 2009
Student comments on impact of
sustainability issues to their future
    These issues are very important and should not be
     overlooked. Everyone should at least try and recycle.
    I think that it is our job to determine the impact of
     sustainability on our future but the local and national
     government has a bigger responsibility in taking care of that
     for us.
    We need to start considering more sustainable fuels.
    I think that everyone needs to take responsibility for their
     own actions..the world depends on it. It's scary to know how
     serious this problem really is. I don't want my earth to
    The world will in time be a vast desert with no resources or
     living beings if this rate of extraction continues.

    10                     Sustainability Workshop, AMCIS 2009

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