Tag Archives: Behaviour Change

Energy behaviours in non-domestic buildings

November 2012: As part of the Government’s release of it’s new Energy Efficiency Strategy earlier this week, an accompanying research paper published is of interest in the London context. What are the factors influencing energy behaviours and decision-making in the non-domestic sector? examines how energy efficiency take up could be enhanced in buildings common in the capital such as retail, schools, government estate, sports, public offices, heritage and entertainment, healthcare, transport and communications.  There is not much research in this area and pages 6-11 of the report make particularly interesting reading, setting out the 35 conclusions from the study on why the use of energy is not taken more seriously by such organisations, leading to a common complaint in London of ‘why are the lights of so many offices on at night when no-one is there’?

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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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Green Streets, Strong Communities

July 2011: Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) report evaluating the British Gas Green Streets community energy challenge in which 14 groups from communities in England, Scotland and Wales were selected to compete for a prize of £100,000. Each was given a share of a £2 million injection of capital, as well as technical advice from British Gas, to spend on a variety of microgeneration (or ‘microgen’) and energy efficiency measures in community buildings and surrounding households. Two London schemes were included amongst the communities involved: Ham and Petersham (Richmond) and Hyde Farm Climate Action Network (Wandsworth).

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Whitehall Exceeds Carbon Target

7 July 2011: The Prime Minister announced yesterday that carbon emissions from central Government HQs and officesthe majority vast of which are based in London – have been slashed by nearly 14% in just one year, and told Whitehall it would have to go further by cutting emissions by 25% by 2015. Lots of Departmental performance information released, but of more interest is the end of year report – Carbon Reduction on the Government Office Estate – which makes interesting reading in relation to the projects implemented  in offices to help reduce energy/carbon. These include  energy saving competitions, implementing a 19°C set point, various energy conservation projects, introducing Automatic Meter Reading, and an also a successful CHP project at the DWP.  DECC’s behaviour change experiments are a good read: ‘scrunch‘ – which gives people who are working late incentives to congregate in one area, thereby allowing whole floors to be shut down; and ‘OK Commuter’, which helps people track their journeys to work. (‘no surprises’ that DECC’s full of Radiohead fans!)

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Missing the Mark – consumers, energy bill, annual statements and behaviour change

Consumer Focus7 June 2011: A new report from the Consumer Focus entitled ‘Missing the Mark – consumers, energy bill, annual statements and behaviour change’ (see bottom of page for link). This looks at the role of information on consumers’ bills and annual statements and the potential this has to help consumers. The research identifies a number of limitations in the effectiveness of this information in nudging behavioural change in consumers.

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Bringing it Home

30 March 2011Green Alliance report examining the role of government in enabling people to live more sustainable lives, and looks at the contribution that behavioural economics, and behavioural sciences more broadly, can make to environmental policy design.

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Rising energy prices and their effects on environmental behaviour

1 July 2008: GLA Economics Current Issues Note 21– Higher energy prices are likely to: reduce households energy consumption; increase demand for public transport relative to private car use; and encourage more energy efficient production methods.

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