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BARENERGY—Barriers for energy changes among end consumers and households

abstract The main objective of this project is to develop methods to identify the relevance and strengths of various barriers for energy
behaviour changes among end consumers and households, and to discuss how activities from political authorities, energy
producers and NGOs can overcome these barriers. We will address changes in consumer behaviour along two dimensions.
The first is energy saving and improvement of energy efficiency within households, the second is changes toward more
sustainable and renewable energy technologies. We are also concerned about the relationship between these three
strategies; turn down and switch off, the purchase of energy-efficient appliances, and shift to (more) sustainable energy
carriers. Based upon the state of art we have identified six barriers to energy change among end consumers, ranking from
macro to micro perspectives. 1) Physical and structural barriers. 2)Political barriers, 3) Cultural-normative or social barriers, 4)
Economic barriers, 5)Knowledge based barriers and 6)Individual-psychological barriers We will combine an individual and
institutional approach. This means that individual and household energy behaviour – and changes in this behaviour – can only
be understood by considering individual values, attitudes, norms and knowledge among individuals together with the context
in which this behaviour takes place. We have developed a methodological triangulation with three main empirical approaches.

• Qualitative interviews with strategic stakeholders in the involved countries
• Representative quantitative surveys among
consumers in the countries involved in the project. However, we will also include Greece in this survey in order to focus on
energy related questions in the climate of SE Europe
• Qualitative strategic focus groups among targeted consumer groups in the same countries.

With strategic groups we mean people with different windows of opportunities and people with different social background.
   
keywords Energy, Sustainable Development, Energy Efficiency, Consumer Behaviour, Environmental Psychology
   
homepage http://www.barenergy.eu/
partner SIFO - Norwegian Institute for Consumer Research, University of Surrey (UK), TNO (NL), University of Groningen (NL), EDF (F), Central European University (HU), Centre for Sustainable Energy (UK)
type applied research project
status completed
start of project 2008
end of project 2010
principal EU
additional informations
topics Energy, Sustainable Development, Energy Efficiency, Consumer Behaviour, Environmental Psychology
methods Qualitative Interviews, Focus Groups, Quantitative Surveys
contact Rolf Wüstenhagen