Behaviour Change and Energy use

7 July 2011: The Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team published a report yesterday setting out how behavioural insights can be used to help people save energy and money. The report, Behaviour Change and Energy Use, launches a series of trials and “changes to government policy” (not sure what these are though…) which will make it easier for individuals to green their homes and use less energy. Several of these trials are based in London including:

  • How social networks might be harnessed to support the uptake of domestic energy efficiency measures. In partnership with B&Q and Kingston and Merton councils – a trial will run to test the impact of offering energy efficiency products and services at varying levels of discount depending on how many people opt in to the offer. In this trial, homeowners in Merton will be offered a discount on B&Q energy-efficient products such as loft and cavity wall insulation. People will be incentivised to encourage others in their local community to take up the offer with them –discounts for each household range from 10% fortwo households, to 15% for three households and25% for five households.Merton Council will highlight this through community engagement, also raising awareness about the discounted energy-efficient products by marketing the deal in their own local publications. The trial will be conducted between September and December 2011. To determine the effectiveness of this intervention, Kingston Council will act as a control where householders will be offered standard, non-discounted green products.
  • Testing the impact of helping to remove the ‘hassle factor’, specifically investigating whether minimising the hassle associated with loft clearance will encourage the uptake of loft insulation. B&Q and the London Borough of Sutton are currently discussing the terms of a trial which will test the effectiveness of offering a subsidised loft-clearing service in conjunction with loft insulation.
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