BECC Webinar: New Innovations for Saving Energy in Buildings Through Behavior Change

September 15, 2022 | 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT

Utilities and local governments have successfully used home energy reports to spur energy-saving behaviors, but now they are looking for the next big thing to reduce consumer demand. As the threat of climate change continues to intensify, now is the time to employ every tool in the “behavioral toolbox” to reduce energy consumption and emissions.

New innovations in behavioral science and behavior change programs move beyond focusing on general energy consumption by consumers at home. Instead, they target peak heating and cooling events, engage tenants with multiple approaches, and focus on building operators who can have outsized impacts on how energy is used.

Join us to learn from four experts about combining real-time data and rewards to produce savings during peak-use events, a project on university campus tenant engagement for reducing energy use, and how we can train skilled energy professionals to maximize savings from high performance buildings.


Moderator: Reuven Sussman, Director of Behavior and Human Dimensions Program, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)

Dr. Sussman conducts research on energy efficiency behavior change and co-chairs the annual conference on Behavior, Energy and Climate Change (BECC). He has authored numerous academic papers and book chapters on the psychology of climate change, behavioral interventions to encourage energy efficiency, and the psychological determinants of pro-environmental behavior. Dr. Sussman sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Environmental Psychology and Journal of Social Psychology.


George Zavaliagkos, VP Technology and Data Science, Sense

George leads a team of data scientists and engineers who apply advanced machine learning to home energy tracking and analysis. Prior to joining Sense, George led machine learning operations for Amazon Alexa. He was also a co-founder of Parametros Trading and Director of Research at Nuance Communications Mobility division. George holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University.

Shelby Ruiz, Research Project Manager, Washington State University

Shelby is the research project manager for Washington State University's Integrated Design + Construction Laboratory with interests in human-building interfaces, social-biophilic design, and qualitative research methods. The Integrated Design + Construction Lab specializes in mixed methods research to advance building energy savings, occupant comfort and education, as well as studies that investigate the human aspects of building operations.

Peter Crabtree, Visiting Project Scientist, California Institute for Energy and Environment/CITRIS/UC Berkeley

Peter has more than 30 years of experience in community organizing and workforce development.  He was a community college Dean of Career Education for 17 years at Laney College in Oakland, California. He is the Principal Investigator for the NSF ATE national Building Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) Center. As an NSF principal investigator for the past 18 years, he has worked on commercial building operations for sustainability including leading research in the field and supporting technician education nationally in Building Automation Systems, Commercial HVAC, and energy efficiency. He currently leads the development of an ISO 17024 national certification for High-Performance Building Operations Technical Professionals with the goal of improving the knowledge and skills of building technicians nationally and thus improving the energy efficiency and IEQ of the commercial buildings sector.

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