Project deliverable Open Access

Identification and Characterisation of Energy Behaviour Change Initiatives

Morrissey, John; Axon, Stephen; Aiesha, Rosita; Hillman, Joanne; Revez, Alexandra; Lennon, Breffní; Dunphy, Niall; Salel, Mathieu; Boo, Eva

The overall aim of WP4 is to use the insights gathered from WP2 (relating to energy technologies) and WP3 (regarding socio-economic analysis) to formulate a best practice policy toolkit for EU member states. As such, it will serve as a key input for WP6 to define innovative energy pathways, for WP7 to integrate this work package’s outputs in the energy portal, and for WP8 to stimulate dialogue at the national and EU level. This deliverable is an output for Task 4.3 that identifies and characterises the suite of energy behaviour change initiatives across a range of European Union countries. Section 1.2 provides an overview of the aims and objectives.

With reference to several case studies across Europe, this deliverable has provided insights on success factors and commonly encountered barriers to energy behaviour change initiatives. Through an evaluation of a number of identified and characterised initiatives across the UK, Ireland, Spain, France and Italy, energy behaviour change initiatives are noted as being the ‘holy grail’ of sustainability which have the potential to influence the ways in which people use technologies as part of their everyday practices (Jackson, 2005). It is well noted that behaviour, practices and culture constitute a powerful human factor in the energy system; in particular the interactions between technologies, practices and norms that lock individuals in to certain patterns of (often inefficient) energy use. The result has been an increasing focus in behaviour change research, particularly on the social contexts in which people live, the routines they shape, and the extent to which people feel empowered to change them. This deliverable has identified, and characterised, a series of behaviour change initiatives, indicating the factors contributing to their relative success in influencing energy actions. The projects reviewed here illustrate a snapshot of current practices in this area, and while these projects do not represent an exhaustive list, it is from these understandings that a number of conclusions can be drawn.

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