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Changing Behaviour is a project that aims to support change in energy use and energy services. We do so by applying social research on technological change to practical use. Our focus is on the interaction between energy experts and energy users: How can these different groups learn to understand each other better?

Changing Behaviour is an action research project. Researchers and practitioners work together to develop, test and refine tools for improved interaction that are sensitive to context, timing and the needs of different users and stakeholders.

Changing Behaviour is a European project that is funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme Energy theme (contract number: 213217). The project partners are from Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and the UK.
Three papers by CHANGING BEHAVIOUR at the First European Conference on Energy and Behaviour
Tuesday, 06 October 2009 13:35


The First European Conference on Energy Efficiency and Behaviour will be held in Maastricht, the Netherlands, October 18-20. The conference is organised by SenterNovem and will feature 80 papers from Europe and beyond. Three of these are by CHANGING BEHAVIOR:

Feenstra, Backhaus (ECN) & Heiskanen (NCRC): How to change consumers’ energy-related behaviour? Improving demand side management programmes via an action research approach

Heiskanen (NCRC), Mourik, Feenstra & Pariag (ECN): Beyond Individual Behaviour Change – Why and How?

Steinestel, Maier, Meinel & Sieverding (VZ-NRW): Changing behaviour of energy consumers and motivating private investments in energy efficiency by individual and neutral on site energy consultancy for private house owners

Monday, 31 August 2009 15:59

iStock_000009029081XSmall.jpgYnke Feenstra (ECN) presented the outcomes of the case study analysis of WP2 during the Summer School of the Dutch National ThinkTank. The members of the ThinkTank were very enthusiastic about the research performed in CHANGING BEHAVIOUR, the outcomes of the case studies and the recommendations for future Demand Side Management programmes.

The ThinkTank is a multidisciplinary group of high potential young master students and PhDs. The aim of the ThinkTank is to come up with creative, innovative but practical solutions for a societal problem. The assignment for the ThinkTank of 2009 is "how can we motivate consumers to save energy and to choose for renewable (decentralised) energy resources". After the Summer School in August, in which external experts present their visions on the assignment, the ThinkTank has 2 months to describe solutions for the assignment and present these to representatives of the government, industries and science. Often these outcomes are picked up widely in media and used in the design of new policies.

Beyond individual behaviour change
Monday, 31 August 2009 11:16

There are many limitations to individual behaviour change in energy use and climate action. These include social dilemmas (uselessness of personal sacrifices if others don't contribute), social conventions (people are not free to chose how they behave), the limitations of existing infrastructures and an overall feeling of helplessness of individuals when faced with the enormity of the climate challenge. 

An article by our team, Low-carbon communities as a context for individual behavioural change, now published in Energy Policy (Articles in Press) examines how various types of low-carbon communities can overcome these problems and support individuals in changing to low-carbon lifestyles. We analyse a local community (Manchester is My Planet, UK), an interest community (Carbonarium, HU), a sector-based community (Green Office, FI) and a smart mob community (Carrotmob, international). We show how they use win-win and assurance solutions to solve social dilemmas, how they challenge existing conventions and create new ones, how they try to create new infrastructures and how they combat helplessness through advice, social support, togetherness, visible results and demonstration that others 'are doing their bit'.

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