Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

James L. Mohler

Committee Chair

James L. Mohler

Committee Member 1

Bendrich Benes

Committee Member 2

Rodney G. Handy

Committee Member 3

Michael J. Dyrenfurth


Energy conservation and intensity reduction efforts are becoming increasingly more prevalent and ultimately necessary, especially for energy-intensive manufacturing companies in particular to stay in business. Typical actions are to change technology, and thus, realize an energy cost savings in overall utilities. However, in today's competitive market, with climate change and other environmental impacts as well, it is necessary for the cost of energy to be valued as a cost of making a product, and thus, managed at the same level as the cost of labor or materials. This research assessed human behavior at the individual and organizational levels both at work and at home that either prompted or prohibited employees from taking daily action to conserve energy or develop greater energy efficient practices. Ultimately, the questions began with questions regarding employee views and knowledge of energy at work and at home and what drives both behaviors toward conservation or efficiency. And, the contribution identifies the key drivers, barriers, and/or incentives that affect those behaviors. The results of this study show that the key driver and motivator for energy conservation both at home and work is cost savings. The study showed that to further motivate individuals to conserve energy at home and work, more knowledge of the impact their actions have or could have as well as tools would be needed. The most poinient aspect of the research was the level of importance placed on energy conservation and the desire to conserve. The feedback given to the open ended questions was quite impressive regarding what employees have done and continue to do particularly within their homes to conserve energy. These findings brought about final recommendations that were in fact not expected but could significantly influence an increase in energy conservation at work by leveraging the existing desire to conserve which is a key component to decision making.