Tag Archives: behaviour


Is manipulation the only way to change behaviours?

SmartEnergyEfficiency_CuteSheepAround three fourths of Europe’s CO2 emissions are associated with households consumption. Meeting EU’s ambitious climate change targets of reductions in carbon emissions by 2050 will therefore require patterns of household consumption to change radically from the current baseline. Influencing behaviour is a key part of this.

However, ultimately behavioural change messages will not address “rebound” effect or encourage broader sustainability thinking. Indeed, often, people spend money saved on high carbon products or services, offsetting dramatically saved greenhouse gas emissions and sometimes having a huge counter-productive effect on efforts already made.

So, what’s the solution? Manipulate people?


2 smash hits you might launch thanks to the Internet of Things



We’ve already seen in a previous post why Energy Efficiency business developers should look at the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution and the benefits this technology’s wave will provide to them. Now, let’s delve into 2 ideas, which should help you build the next smash hits in Energy Efficiency.


6 tips for a successful behavioural change programme



Behavioural sciences are not accurate sciences. And it’s not easy to successfully engage a behavioural change programme, especially when behaviour changes need some sacrifices and utility loss, such as, in climate change case, travelling less, eating less meat, buying less electronically stuff and so on.


Between 2010 and 2012, a programme of research into climate change relevant behaviours has been taken forward by the Scottish Government. Drawing learning, the programme argues that influencing behaviour is crucial, and offers some thinking about how this might be done. Here are 6 tips the late programme’s results highlight:

Social Networks

Make users accountable thanks to social media

Social Networks

Social Networks

Energy Services Companies struggle to convince users to save sustainably energy in their professional environment. Simultaneously, the Internet and social networks let spring up new ways of rating services providers. Indeed, “consumers have more power than ever before to call attention to bad products, services, and experiences”. Thus, app developers or luxury touristic hotels can face good and bad reviews from their customers for the value they bring. What if Energy Services Companies used social media to point their users’ bad or energy-wasting behaviours?

Transports Emissions - European Commission

Understand energy challenges in transports with 4 figures

Transports Emissions - European Commission

In the European Union, the transport sector is responsible for 31% of the energy consumption and for 21% of the GHG community emissions excluding aviation.

The evolution of the industrialised countries’ cities which currently gather the essential of human activities, has reinforced the concentration of the population in urban centres (Currently, 80% of the European population is concentrated in urban areas).

This fact reinforced the increase of the transport pollution up to 40% of greenhouse gases in the cities. Despite the public transport offer, the use of individual vehicles such as cars remains frequent. By habit, comfort, independence, freedom, users abandon their personal vehicle with difficulty. In the city, we frequently observe thus problems of roadway saturation and increase of pollution of the air, etc.

Bridge the gap

How to bridge technical and behaviour changes

Bridge the gap


As this blog points it out often, the Energy Efficiency industry seems to be growing apart into two nearly distinct camps: the technical side and the behavior side.“It’s bad enough that we now have these quantitative versus qualitative ideologies glaring at each other from opposite sides of the room, but in many instances they can work against each other.” In his very interesting blog article, NOESIS’ Ryan REID highlighted how to bridge technical and behaviour changes. I tried to sum up here the key insights:

  • We all choose one or the other side and feel ours is the most important.
The deepest bin in the World - VOLKSWAGEN

Reduce maintenance costs by enabling occupants to do it

We saw in a previous post, that taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator can be fun and how we can get more people to take the stairs over the escalator by making it fun to do. Let’s see this time how you could reduce maintenance costs of your building by using some fun tips to push people into taking part of this a priori boring activity.

Let’s see an example of how to throw rubbish in the bin instead of onto the floor. Indeed many people still fail to do so. Can we get more people to throw rubbish into the bin, rather than onto the ground, by making it fun to do? See the results here.

Alex LASKEY's presentation of behavioural science

How behavioural science can lower your energy bill

Alex LASKEY, one of the OPOWER‘s founders, gave a great TED presentation about how behaviour changes can help us save energy. This is another great example how to make Energy Efficiency sexy. Here is the 8-min video and his speech I tried to wrap up.

Alex LASKEY's presentation of behavioural science

TED: click on the image

How many of you have checked your email today? Raise your hands.

And how about finances? Anybody check that today? Credit card, investment account? How about this week?

EU Public Transport

Can we do Energy Efficiency in public transport?

EU Public Transport


Population in European cities increases more and more and so the dependence to infrastructures to travel. In a context of urban sprawl confronted to the double effect of fuel prices increase and new working hours, the treatment of mobility constitutes a fundamental component of our territories attractiveness, as seen in a previous post. Energy Efficiency in public transport is a key leverage to improve attractivity.

The question of mobility is also asked in environmental terms; public transit networks are tremendous tools to reduce CO2 emissions and local pollutions. The fight against global warming will be determining for the evolution of transport.


Can gaming teach us to save energy?



In this excellent Guardian article I try here to sum up, Dr Paula Owen explains why ‘gamification’ – using fun and games for serious purposes – is quickly becoming the hottest tool in the sustainability toolkit.

What’s ‘gamification’? It’s simply the concept of taking the ideas behind good games design and games mechanics and applying them to non-gaming environments.

Firms are looking to gamification to increase staff productivity; customer loyalty and, of course, bottom-line profitability. There are already many examples of gamification app, such as:

Piano Stairs - VOLKSWAGEN

A good example of how to make behavioural change fun

We know that most of the great technical solutions to save energy are often unfortunately disturbed by the actual behaviour of people who use them or manage them. Examples are numerous: BMS, lighting control systems, HVAC automation systems, and so on. What if we asked ocupants in a given building (offices, public transport, industries, and so on) to regulate their own behaviour.

VOLKSWAGEN launched few years ago a contest dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better.

Bank Arcade Machine - VOLKSWAGEN

Reduce maintenance costs by enabling occupants to do it (bis)

We saw in a previous post, that taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator can be fun and how we can get more people to take the stairs over the escalator by making it fun to do. For the second time, let’s see this time how you could reduce maintenance costs of your building by using some fun tips to push people into taking part of this a priori boring activity.