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Energy Services: Reducing the energy consumption of residents by behavioural changes (BEWAREE)

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Households are responsible for roughly 30 % of the total energy consumption in Europe, despite refurbishment works during the last decades. Tackling global warming is not only a technological problem – e.g. replacing conventional energy sources by renewable energy sources and promoting energy efficiency in traffic, industries and buildings – but also a problem of human behaviour. Human behaviour consists to a considerable degree of day-to-day routines which are not conducive to a sustainable use of energy. The BewareE project aimed at promoting the implementation of “energy awareness services” for changing energy consuming behaviour in European households. In collaboration with housing associations and other relevant stakeholders of the housing sector, the project consortium systematically gathered, evaluated and disseminated energy awareness services. The project generated a database of energy awareness services to support housing organisations and companies, public and private energy service providers in developing own initiatives. Together with several partners, both private and public, best practice examples for energy services were promoted through various activities.

Results

  • 139 energy awareness services from all over Europe were identified. These services are provided by housing companies, NGOs, utilities, consumer associations and similar organisations and address tenants and house owners. 27 country reports explained the national framework conditions of the identified energy awareness services.
  • Based on five criteria, 36 “best-practices” were selected to highlight the most promising awareness services.
  • The Northern European countries (Sweden, Finland, and Denmark) have developed the most comprehensive set of energy awareness services targeting large parts of society.
  • The BewareE partners developed a six-step approach for creating and implementing behavioural change services. This approach can be considered as an adapted form of the Service Engineering (SE) approach in the field of behavioural changes. It was tested in several in-house workshop with service providers.
  • Based on gathered knowledge the BewareE project partners developed national strategies to recommend important country-specific actions for speeding up the implementation of energy awareness services.
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Lessons learned

  • Results show a huge variety of energy services provided in Europe. These range from campaigns, exhibitions and events to low-cost incentives, monitoring and empowerment services. Well-organized awareness-raising services can bring about energy savings from 5% – 10% and in some cases up to 20% a year. This goes along with household cost savings of up to 300 euros a year.
  • Only a few of the behaviour-related energy services draw on scientific insights to influencing consumer behaviour: Simple information services are most prevalent, even though this approach seems to be not very effective. Only some services can be categorised as feedback or empowerment measures which appear to bring about the highest energy savings and the most persistent behavioural changes.
  • Analysis revealed that collaboration between different actors is a key factor for successful service provision. A coordinated mix of tools, competencies and methods is necessary. Promoting energy awareness services and developing national strategies for a systematic and broad supply is a matter of urgency for all countries of the EU but new innovative forms of financing must be considered to finance those services.
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Partners and coordinator

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Contact

Institut für Zukunftsstudien und Technologiebewertung GmbH
Germany
Contact point: 
Name: 
Michael Scharp
Tel: 
0049-30-803088-14

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In brief

Duration:
01/12/2007 to 31/05/2010
Contract number: 
EISAV/EIE/07/242/2007

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