Around 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?
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Is manipulation the only way to change behaviours?
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Thierry BIEVRE, ELITHIS
Thierry BIEVRE, Chief Executive Director of Elithis group, a famous French Building Engineering firm, shares feedback on best practices to make Energy Efficiency a successful market.
From your experience, what are the main barriers to a broader Energy Efficiency development?
Citing Jesse BERST, “utilities could get sucked into the smart appliances trap just as several of them fell for the in-home display idea. It doesn’t make sense for utilities to subsidize products that consumers don’t want. And consumers don’t want smart appliances.” Indeed, everybody talk about smart stuff, dozens of startups try to break into the smart home market, and no smash hit is coming. Why?
As Beth BUCZYNSKI said, “are smart appliances worth the big investment?” It seems that the industry hasn’t yet provided a killer app everybody would be happy to pay to have it.