13 Mar 2013

Choices, Decisions and Lifestyles Roundtable

Workshop — Paris, France



While achieving energy security and environment goals will require broad shifts in technology choices, it will also require a revolution in lifestyles, and the commitment and capacity of individuals and organisations to reshape their energy-service demands (see Concept Note).

To date, policy attention has focused on overcoming technical, economic and information barriers to improving energy efficiency – including measures to promote and regulate energy-efficient technologies, inform consumers and incentivise purchase and uptake. While techno-economic policy interventions have led to energy efficiency improvements, an enormous amount of cost-effective energy potential still exists.

To tap this potential, the ‘Choices, Decisions and Lifestyles’ Roundtable, hosted by the IEA in Paris 13 March 2013, took a step back from classic techno-economic policy approaches to identify innovative levers informed by social science to scale up energy efficiency. These levers recognise that there are more than 7 billion people on this earth from diverse cultures, geographies, socio-economic groups and generations and with different norms, values, attitudes, habits and infrastructures. These differences inform choices, decisions and lifestyles that, in turn, impact energy consumption.

During the Roundtable, representatives from more than 15 countries shared experience with proven-practice energy efficiency policy interventions informed by social-science research. The Roundtable did not seek to identify measures that simply ‘change behaviour’ – this goal is too limiting. Policies presented at the Roundtable went beyond promotion of discrete efficient behaviours and products (i.e. turning off lights or purchasing LEDs) to enable transformative change (more efficient eating, playing, moving, working, bathing, sleeping, etc.).

Participants were be asked to make short presentations providing key insights from their work on:

  • Understanding and modelling evolving human/technology interactions and practices;
  • Tailoring interventions according to target group traits;
  • Informing household, business and political decision makers’ practices;
  • Motivating changes;
  • Empowering changes;
  • Evaluating the impact of non-technical and economic levers.

Roundtable presentations can be found here:

OECD Behavioural Economics Insights; Zach Brown, OECD

Dynamics of Energy Mobility and Demand;  Gordon Walker, Demand Centre, UK

Applying Commercial Research Techniques ; Debra Hall, Ipsos, Presented by Pat Murray

Making EE ‘accessible’ to New Zealanders ; Pat Murray, ECCA, New Zealand

Practical Lessons from Task 24 ; Ruth Mourik IEA Implementing Agreement

Super Cool Biz & Post-Fukushima Programmes ;  Yukari Yamashita, IEEJ, Japan

Swedish Experiences in Industry, Transport, Homes ;  Rurik Holmberg & Maria Alm Energy Agency, Sweden

Energy Styles as Starting Point for Efficient Policy Interventions ;  Bettina Bergauer-Culver Ministry of Economy, Austria

NEEAP: Where does how we behave fit in? Sarah Meagher, DECC, UK 

National Energy Strategy & Influencing Behaviour Henrietta E. Csató Ministry of National Development, Hungary 

Reducing Consumption through Digital Feedback  Ruth Rettie, Kingston University, UK 

Power of One & Optimising Energy Use at Work Eamonn Confrey, DCENR, Ireland 

Practical Means to Energy Efficiency Päivi Laitila, Motiva, Finland 

Cost or Comfort Driving Energy Efficiency? Andreas Enge, ENOVA, Norway

EE Clearing House Andriah MISNA, Energy Ministry, Indonesia

Rethinking Lifestyle Patterns in 2030/2050; Nathalie Etahiri, Energy Ministry, France

Human Factors at TRL, Heather Allen, TRL, UK

For more information please contact:
Sara Bryan Pasquier
Energy Efficiency and Environment Division
International Energy Agency
Phone: +33 1 40 57 67 25