News & Events

Greening your home: better information and novel solutions can boost the energy behaviour change

Share this Post:

Last BUILD UP webinar counted on the participation of the EU-funded projects dealing with energy users engagement to improve energy performances in buildings.

 

Although many people are concerned about the environment, this does not always translate into taking practical steps to reduce domestic energy consumption.

There are several social, psychological and economic barriers in changing our own energy behaviour.

 

One of these relates to the fact that people have a tendency to discount the future: usually the benefits related to energy behaviour change are accrued over a long period of time, whereas the costs associated with them are immediate and sometimes large. Moreover, behavioural insights tell us that people are heavily influenced by what others around them are doing.

 

Therefore, two key aspects of helping people to reduce energy consumption are both providing users with novel and user-friendly solutions and give them better information that may increase their trust and knowledge in energy efficiency and energy saving. Without an appropriate frame of reference, consumers cannot know whether their consumption is excessive.

 

Meaningful, clearly communicated and continual feedback is therefore essential for a long-lasting change in consumer behaviour, as stated by the EEA in its report Achieving energy efficiency through behaviour change: what does it take?

 

This is what eTEACHER aims to do in its three-years-project. Last 20th May the project had the chance to attend the BUILD UP webinar, together with other two EU-funded projects, MOEEBIUS and MOBISTYLE. The full webinar is available here.

 

BUILD UP is the European portal for energy efficiency in buildings: it turns the spotlight to the energy-related projects and news from Europe to build a solid knowledge around energy efficiency.

 

These three EU-funded projects are dealing with the energy performance issue from different perspectives to enhance energy behaviour change and to improve the buildings performances.

 

The BUILD UP webinar was a good chance for them to join forces in order to increase the awareness around this topic and to reach a wider audience, especially energy professional and energy end-users.

 

In fact, most energy efficiency measures implemented in Europe involve technological interventions but will equally have to rely on people adjusting their energy consumption behaviour.

 

Social science can improve our understanding of individual and societal responses to their surroundings; it has been used to investigate people’s relationship with energy, energy use and energy efficiency behaviour change initiatives and measures, as you can read in this news from De Montfort University, partner in the eTEACHER project.

 

Since the beginning, eTEACHER invested a lot of effort in engaging people with information and promotion events, face-to-face meetings and demonstrations and feedback forums with buildings users. Community-based initiatives with tenants and users are at the core of the project: they’re considered as essential to get a pro-environmental behaviour change and achieve the project’s goals.

 

Small groups of people gathered together and were enquired about a range of behaviours and attitudes that can be changed either to reduce their overall environmental footprint and/or to increase energy efficiency. This help the project increasing acceptance among the “test users” and at the same time raise their awareness about energy-related topics.