Kukui Cup in “Competition, carbon, and conservation: Assessing the energy savings potential of energy efficiency competitions”

The Kukui Cup is compared with other energy challenges in “Competition, carbon, and conservation: Assessing the energy savings potential of energy efficiency competitions” by Edward L. Vine and Christopher M. Jones, published in Energy Research and Social Science 19 (2016).


Competition has become an increasingly popular strategy to engage individuals in energy and resource conservation; however, there has not been an objective, independent review of existing competition programs focusing on the reduction of energy use. This paper attempts to address this shortcoming.

This paper reviews a representative selection of completed and ongoing energy reduction competitions in the United States and uses the lessons learned to provide best practice guidance on the design,implementation, and evaluation of future programs. Four key research questions are addressed in this study: How effective have competitions been at changing behavior and reducing energy? How long do energy savings persist after the end of competitions? Under what circumstances are competitions more or less effective? What are common best practices for the design, implementation and evaluation of energy and resource conservation competitions?

The primary target audiences for this paper are electric and natural gas utilities seeking to broaden their portfolio of behavior-based interventions, as well as potential designers, implementers and evaluators of energy reduction competitions. Our intention is to improve the effectiveness of competitions and to suggest when competition may or may not be an effective strategy to save energy over the long term.

For more details, see: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2016.06.013

Benefit to bring the Kukui Cup to Nepal and Bhutan

Nancy Niklis, a former Kukui Cup developer, is working with educational organizations in Nepal and Bhutan with the goal of developing Kukui Cup Challenges in these countries.

She will be holding a benefit for this work on Saturday, August 30, from 12 – 4:30pm. See the attached poster for details.

Please come attend this benefit to help the Kukui Cup go to the Himalayas!


Brewer wins sustainability award

Robert Brewer (PhD, Computer Science, 2013) has won the 2013 Graduate Student Research on Campus Sustainability Award from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). He accepted the award on October 6, 2013, at AASHE’s annual conference and expo in Nashville, Tennessee. AASHE is an international organization providing resources and professional development for sustainable operations, research and education.

For more details, see this press release.

KC inspires courses

The Kukui Cup provided the basis for two course offerings at the University of Hawaii during the Spring, 2013 semester.  The first course, “Sustainability and the Kukui Cup” provided an opportunity for Kukui Cup participants (and others) to work on sustainability projects.   The second course, “Serious Game Development with Python, Django, and Makahiki” was a graduate level course in computer science that focused on the technological underpinnings of the Kukui Cup.

Brewer completes KC Ph.D.

Robert Brewer has completed his doctoral dissertation based upon the Kukui Cup, called “Fostering Sustained Energy Behavior Change And Increasing Energy Literacy In A Student Housing Energy Challenge”.

Abstract: We designed the Kukui Cup challenge to foster energy conservation and increase energy literacy. Based on a review of the literature, the challenge combined a variety of elements into an overall game experience, including: real-time energy feedback, goals, commitments, competition, and prizes.

Continue reading Brewer completes KC Ph.D.

Argyris wins UH CNS Scholarship

Ileana Argyris, a first year student in the College of Engineering at the University of Hawaii, won the 2012 UH Kukui Cup College of Natural Sciences (CNS) Energy Scholarship.   The CNS Energy Scholarship, worth one semester of in-state tuition at the University of Hawaii, was established by the College to further STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) at the University.

Continue reading Argyris wins UH CNS Scholarship


“Makahiki+WattDepot: An open source software stack for next generation energy research and education”, by Philip M. Johnson, Yongwen Xu, Robert S. Brewer, Carleton A. Moore, George E. Lee, and Andrea Connell was published at the 2013 Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Sustainability (ICT4S), Zurich, Switzerland.

Abstract: The accelerating world-wide growth in demand for energy has led to the conceptualization of a “smart grid”, where a variety of decentralized, intermittent, renewable energy sources (for example, wind, solar, and wave) would provide most or all of the power required by small-scale “microgrids” servicing hundreds to thousands of consumers. Such a smart grid will require consumers to transition from passive to active participation in order to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of the grid’s electrical capabilities.

Continue reading KC at ICT4S