Changing people’s energy behavior via group-based approaches

By: Jans, L., Bouman, T. Fielding, K.

In: IEEE Power and Energy Magazine
doi: 10.1109/MPE.2017.2759883

Abstract. One of the most critical and pressing solutions needed to address global climate change is the transition to secure, affordable, and sustainable-energy systems. This transition is usually considered a technological challenge because it involves the integration of renewable energy, a trend toward decentralizing energy generation, and more demandside participation. However, involving consumers in the transition is crucial for its success. For example, sustainable-energy transitions may require consumers to adopt sustainable-energy sources, technologies, and energy-efficiency measures as well as change their direct and indirect energy use behaviors to the limited and fluctuating supply of (renewable) energy. However, such behaviors may not always be easy for consumers to adopt, as they can entail personal sacrifice and discomfort or require them to change habits or infrastructure, which can be cognitively and financially demanding. To guarantee a sustainable future for all, it is critical that we understand what motivates consumers’ energy behaviors and how we can promote consumers’ motivation to engage in sustainable-energy behaviors and act beyond immediate personal interests.