Students collaborate with Studentbostäder to track tenants electricity consumption level

Marko Horovat, a second year student of the Master’s programme Sustainable Development is leading the collaboration with the student housing corporation in Linköping. 

Our current project with Studentbostäder is closely related to the Sustainable Development programme, we're trying to use nudging and education tools to influence residents’ behaviour in order to track their electricity consumption level.
Marko Horovat, student at the Master’s programme in Sustainable Development
studentbostäderPhoto credit: David Einar NygrenThe project with Studentbostäder just started and for now, Marko and his student colleagues are still collecting data and deciding which tools they want to use. The aim of the program is to bring down electricity usage in the big student areas in Linköping, which are managed by Studentbostäder.

Although the way the project will be carried out is not completely clear yet, the student team has some good ideas. Marko explains that instead of telling the students tenants what to do, they are given tools in order to try to help them understand their own consumption.
“We are not putting any pressure on them but we want to reward them when they do a good job. For instance, not switching off your lights every time you go out to do the grocery shopping quickly doesn’t sound too bad but if many students do that for five times a week, it’s a lot of wasted energy. We are thinking of putting glow in the dark stickers next to the light switches so that when a students does switch of the light when he or she leaves, she gets rewarded by a funny shiny sticker.”
For now, Marko and his team are thinking of tools and ways to get the students informed and motivated. One of the ways is going to be a campaign to inform the students what they gain by keeping track of their energy usage. Another one might be a poster that shows how they can contribute to a good cause if they save a certain amount of energy.

Marko’s task in the project is to lead the student group and communicate with Studentbostäder. It’s a voluntary side project that he and his student colleaugues are doing next to their university duties.
"The project just started but the aim is to have it lasting for at least a couple of years. We want to build a solid foundation upon which Studentbostäder can improve the program and develop it further. If the project turns out to be very effective, we might even expand it to different student areas in Sweden!”