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Motivating behaviour change – in New Zealand and at EECA
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Motivating behaviour change – in New Zealand and at EECA


EECA Chief Executive, Mike Underhill, explains the New Zealand context and why EECA is interested in motivating change. He provides a brief introduction to energy use and supply in New Zealand and …

EECA Chief Executive, Mike Underhill, explains the New Zealand context and why EECA is interested in motivating change. He provides a brief introduction to energy use and supply in New Zealand and how behaviour change will have a major impact on these sectors. A range of examples of the types of interventions and campaigns that EECA is currently doing are provided. Mike believes that behaviour change is the key to unlocking potential and with behaviour change alone, we can get a 20% improvement in energy use in New Zealand. However, he also realises that this is the hardest thing to change.

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  • To support: Economic growth by developing resources Energy Security and Affordability Energy efficiency Environmental responsibility 90% renewable electricity target by 2025 55PJs Energy Savings by 2015 Emissions Trading Scheme
  • Efficiency behaviours are one-shot behaviours often entailing the purchase of energy efficient equipment, such as insulation (eg WUNZ works on that principle) – CAPITAL BEHAVIOUR CHANGE Curtailment behaviours involve repetitive efforts to reduce energy use (Eg ENERGYSPOT) – HABITUAL, ONGOING, OPERATIONAL BEHAVIOUR CHANGE
  • with its core (prime time) placements every Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday night at 6.50pm – TV1, TV2, TV3 and Maori TV


  • 1. Motivating Behaviour Change – In New Zealand and at EECA Mike Underhill, EECA Chief Executive
  • 2. Welcome to the Motivating Change workshop
    • Quick overview of the NZ energy context and EECA
    • What is behaviour and why do we want to change it?
    • What are we doing to motivate change?
  • 4. This Government’s energy aims
  • 5. What is EECA?
    • A Crown Entity
    • Energy Efficiency & Conservation Act 2000
    • Implements the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (NZEECS)
    • Undertakes research and monitoring activities
    • Provides policy advice
    • Allocates government funding
    • Provides information
  • 6. Where does EECA work? Inspiring energy efficiency and conservation – advancing renewable energy Government & local govt Renewable Energy Products Residential Business
  • 7. WHAT is EECA’s objective?
    • From the Act: To encourage, promote and
    • support energy efficiency , energy conservation ,
    • and the use of renewable sources of energy
    • ==> Or, in other words, to motivate behaviour change in the energy end user
    • ==> To use energy more smartly - that is, to waste less but still get the service we want
  • 8. WHAT is Behaviour and why do we want to change it?
    • Behaviour is – “The things we repeatedly do”
    • (Efficiency vs Curtailment Behaviours)
    • INTERNAL drivers of Behaviour:
    • Attitude
    • Values
    • Motives
    • Style
    • Beliefs
    • Feelings
    • Behaviour is EXTERNALISED :
    • It can be observed by others directly.
    • It affects others directly.
    • It has huge effects on energy and resource consumption –
    • by changing behaviour we can probably reduce current levels
    • of energy consumption by 20-25%, whilst saving money and
    • having environmental and social co-benefits
  • 9. How do we motivate the end user?
    • By a range of interventions :
    • Regulation (MEPS/MEPL, VFEL, Standards development, Building Code input)
    • Grants & Incentives (WUNZ:HS, Business grants and audits, Crown loans, Biofuel and SWH grants, EWHP)
    • RDD&D Support (Marine Energy Deployment Fund, Strategic Research Contestable Fund)
    • Information (Marketing and Advertising Campaigns, The Energy Spot, EECA News, Biofuels Conference, Research and Monitoring projects, EnergyWise Awards, EnergyWise Rally)
  • 10. A successful financial incentive intervention – WUNZ: HS campaign
    • In the first year of the programme over 50,000 homes have been insulated
    • Over 250,000 unique page views to our funding page
    • Almost 70% of New Zealanders are aware of the funding EECA is offering
    • Willingness to install insulation in over 250,000 homes.
    • Snowball effect, Third Party Funders…
    •  How can we ensure this one-off change in purchasing behaviour can be turned into ongoing smarter energy use?
  • 11. A successful information intervention
  • 12. Our challenge
    • Behaviour is the KEY to unlocking significant energy saving potential in New Zealand
    • There is NO silver bullet !
    • Behaviour is the hardest thing to change
    • We are currently taking the wrong approach
    • We need to collaborate
    • We need to understand people
    • We need to be smart