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How to change behaviour - a presentation to Queensland Government


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IEA DSM Task 24 on behaviour change presented their latest findings and exciting new work in Phase 2 to the Queensland Government on December 18, 2016.

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How to change behaviour - a presentation to Queensland Government

  1. 1. IEA DSM Task 24 Behaviour Change in DSM Dr Sea Rotmann Operating Agent Task 24 Queensland Government talk, Brisbane December 17, 2015
  2. 2. What is Task 24? For more information, visit • Reputable: International Energy Agency • Global: 1st & only global research task on behaviour • Holistic: all fuels, sectors and domains • All-encompassing: Truly inter- and multi-disciplinary • Collaborative: marrying top-down with bottom-up • Practical: Bringing theory into real-life interventions • Creative and fun: uses storytelling, social media, cartoons, films etc • And just a little bit crazy…
  3. 3. IEA DSM Task 24 Phase I Closing the Loop – Behaviour Change in DSM: From Theory to Practice
  4. 4. Some numbers of Task 24 – Phase I For more information, visit • July 2012 – April 2015 • 8 participating countries • 9 in-kind countries • >230 behaviour change and DSM experts from 21 countries • 20 successful expert workshops • >145 videos and presentations • Over 45 publications – reports, papers, articles… • Almost 60 case studies from 16 countries in a Wiki •
  5. 5. Our audience: Behaviour Changers For more information, visit Government Industr y Researcher s The Third Sector Intermediaries
  6. 6. Subtasks of Task 24 5 – Social network and expert platform 1 – Helicopter view of models, frameworks, contexts and evaluation metrics 2 – In-depth case study analysis 3 – Evaluation Tool for different stakeholders 4 – Country- specific to do’s and not to do’s, guidelines and recommenda tions For more information, visit
  7. 7. Subtasks For more information, visit Subtask 5 – Expert Platform
  8. 8. 1 World Map of Participating countries, contributing experts Expert platform has over 235 experts from 21 countries and 7 main sectors.
  9. 9. Subtasks For more information, visit Subtask 1 – Helicopter Overview of different models of understanding, frameworks, contexts, case studies and evaluation metrics
  10. 10. The Story of Task 24 For more information, visit
  11. 11. Subtask 1 – What is behaviour? For more information, visit Energy behaviour refers to all human actions that affect the way that fuels (electricity, gas, petroleum, coal, etc) are used to achieve desired services, including the acquisition or disposal of energy-related technologies and materials, the ways in which these are used, and the mental processes that relate to these actions. Behaviour Change in the context of this Task thus refers to any changes in said human actions which were directly or indirectly influenced by a variety of interventions (e.g. legislation, regulation, incentives, subsidies, information campaigns, peer pressure etc.) aimed at fulfilling specific behaviour change outcomes. These outcomes can include any changes in energy efficiency, total energy consumption, energy technology uptake or demand management but should be identified and specified by the Behaviour Changer designing the intervention for the purpose of outcome evaluation. BEHAVIOUR IS EVERYTHING!
  12. 12. Subtask 1 – What is behaviour? For more information, visit persistence “unfrozen” half-yearlyyearly Conscious, or well-considered action Once in a lifetime Active information-seeking monthlyrarely Little information-seeking Hardly thinking – taking action Habitualised routinesOnce-off “frozen” consciousness frequency weekly daily cookinggroceriesholidayingChoosing energy supplier Buying a car Buying a house
  13. 13. Subtask 1 – Overview of different models of understanding behaviour For more information, visit
  14. 14. Subtask 1 – The ‘Monster’ and its Wiki For more information, visit
  15. 15. Subtask 1 – Looking at different models of understanding behaviour For more information, visit
  16. 16. Language can be a problem! For more information, visit
  17. 17. That was our Eureka! moment For more information, visit
  18. 18. What is storytelling? ‘Storytelling’ is the construction of a desirable future based on a narrative of past events, with a plot that expresses some causal relationship To read more: Rotmann et al (2015). Once Upon a Time… How to tell an energy efficiency story that ‘sticks’. ECEEE Summer study proceedings For more information, visit
  19. 19. Stories are: • Universal • Help us process information • Providing multiple perspectives • Subjective, not one truth • Aid recall • Shape identity • Make connections For more information, visit
  20. 20. The art and scientific methodology of storytelling Narratives = social science tool aimed at providing way to explore how big events (policies) impact on small scale (individuals) Allow for quick, practical and useful understanding of complexity of interconnected factors in behaviour research We all turn everything into a narrative in order to remember it For more information, visit
  21. 21. Stories are powerful because they transport us into other people’s worlds but, in doing that, they change the way our brains work and potentially change our brain chemistry — and that’s what it means to be a social creature. Paul Zak, Neuroeconomist “ “ "The Interpreter" - is a left hemisphere function that organises our memories into plausible stories. Michael Gazzaniga, Cognitive Neuroscientist Evolution has wired our brains for storytelling. A story, if broken down into the simplest form is a connection of cause and effect. We make up (short) stories in our heads for every action and conversation. Whenever we hear a story, we want to relate it to one of our existing experiences. Uri Hasson, psychologist The ‘narrative turn’: Storytelling sociology views lived experience as constructed, at least in part, by the stories people tell about it. Berger & Quinney, sociologists
  22. 22. We’re all expert story tellers YOUTUBE: U_p3PlWDpLyDBh8TwUBmVHQ
  23. 23. Understanding country contexts in form of stories For more information, visit
  24. 24. Subtask 1 – Sustainable Järva (Building Retrofits) For more information, visit Once upon a time… there were 6 neighbourhoods around the field of Järva that were in urgent need of improvement. They were constructed in the 60s as part of the 1million Home programme to tackle a growing housing deficit in urban areas in Sweden. They contained housing units for more than 60000 people, but times had changed a lot since then… Every day… People in the area were experiencing economic and social challenges. Many of the foreign residents were unemployed and struggling with the Swedish language, and youth was lacking good opportunities for education. The houses were terribly inefficient and the area in general did not work for the needs of its residents. Several investments had been undertaken but nothing worked and people felt no one was listening to them. But, one day… the City of Stockholm decided to improve the living conditions once and for all. But this time would be different, this time they realised that circumstances were radically different to the 60s and that, in order for upgrading the area successfully, they needed to involve the residents. From the beginning. Because of that… the Järva dialogue was initiated during the Fall 2009 and for one week 10000 residents left over 30000 opinions and suggestions how the area should be developed and improved. Based on their contribution a vision was formulated and measures were planned in 4 areas: 1) improved housing and urban environment, 2) everyday security, 3) better education and language teaching, 4) more jobs and entrepreneurship. But then… it was also realised that the area and the buildings had been constructed before the energy crisis without considering the environment, and thus the project Sustainable Järva was born to include an energy, environment and climate-focus to the vision. Until, finally… the dialogue with the residents continued and together with all stakeholders many great measures were planned to promote sustainable lifestyles, satisfaction and well- being. The ultimate goal with the project was to serve as a model for sustainable development. And, ever since then… the neighbourhoods around the field of Järva have become a place where people want to live, work and play. The end.
  25. 25. Different energy efficiency stories *See Janda &Topouzi (2013). Closing the Loop: Using Hero Stories and Learning Stories to Remake Energy Policy ECEEE Summer Study Proceedings.
  26. 26. Examples of a love and a horror story in Building Retrofits
  27. 27. Subtasks For more information, visit Subtask 2 – In depth analysis in areas of greatest need (buildings, transport, SMEs, smart metering)
  28. 28. Subtask 2 – Norwegian Finnfjord Case For more information, visit
  29. 29. Subtask 2 – Austria’s Smart metering Cases €CO2 Management For more information, visit
  30. 30. Subtask 2 – Austria’s Smart metering Cases Die Energiejagd (the Energy Hunt) For more information, visit
  31. 31. Subtask 2 – Austria’s Smart metering Cases For more information, visit social approach individualistic approach social norm (MoU)social learning (ToC)Freezing/unfreezing (ToC) classical economics (MoU) Gamification, competition, feedback, tailored advice, champions Feedback, Advice & Incentive (iPod!) Goal: CO2 savings Huge success Unexpected failure
  32. 32. Subtasks For more information, visit Subtask 3 – Evaluation tool for Behaviour Changers
  33. 33. Subtask 3 – Evaluation Tool, outputs For more information, visit - Individual evaluation and monitoring metrics for each domain can be found in the Subtask 1 Monster/Wiki - Subtask 3 Deliverable 3 - Methodological review of the scientific literature (smart meter/feedback and building retrofits only) called ‘What do we know about what we know?’ which will feed into Subtask 9 - An overview of how different disciplines evaluate behaviour, main challenges and recommendations on monitoring and evaluation can be found in Subtask 3 Deliverable 3A report ‘Did you behave as we designed you to?’ - Specific guidelines and fact sheets for 3 main intervention tools in the building retrofit area (Energy Performance Certificates, Mass Marketing and Subsidies and Loans) can be found in Subtask 3 Deliverable 3B From “I think I know” to “I understand what you did and why you did it”
  34. 34. Subtasks For more information, visit Subtask 4 – Country-specific recommendations, to do’s and not to do’s
  35. 35. Subtask 4 – Do’s and don’t’s For more information, visit Intervention Phase DO DON'T DESIGN PHASE  use models of understanding behaviour and theories of change to design interventions  spend some time pre-intervention researching your audience, its motivations, needs and heterogeneity  collaborate with other Behaviour Changers, especially researchers and intermediaries to design your interventions  segment your audience where you can as it will help tailor the intervention  design evaluation into the intervention up front, including the evaluation team (if different)  learn from mistakes and (re)iterate your intervention  put a lot of thought into dissemination and don't be afraid to use unusual means like social media, group learning and storytelling  believe that there is one silver bullet model for behaviour change  always use the same model, neoclassical economics is a valid model that fits our socio- economic and political reality but it does not explain peoples' mostly habitual energy-using behaviour well enough  be afraid to mix models and create a toolbox of interventions  think you can design, implement, evaluate and disseminate a (national) behaviour change programme all by yourself  think all people are rational, utility-maximising automatons, even in each household you will find very different attitudes, behaviours and motivations  think you can leave evaluation til after the programme is finished  just think in kWh and cost savings, most people don't think of energy in this way but of the services they derive from it IMPLEMENTATION PHASE  collaborate with other behaviour changers in rolling out the intervention  use trusted intermediaries and messengers  target your audience with tailored information and feedback that makes sense to them  keep learning during the implementation by evaluating ex durante  listen to peoples' stories and especially the nay-sayers and laggards  not underestimate the power of moments of change, use them wisely  operate in a silo, you need help  stop looking in unusal places for allies  let your (conflicting) mandates stop you from working with other Behaviour Changers  let technology overwhelm the intervention, it is a means to an end  ever forget that you are dealing with people and their homes are their castles and their cars their steeds  think you know better than your audience how they should use energy  keep a successful intervention to yourself, share it widely EVALUATION PHASE  evaluate ex ante, ex durante and ex post  put 10-15% of your resources into evaluation, it's worth it  benchmark!  think of the most relevant metrics and indicators, not just for you but for your target audience and the other Behaviour Changers  use double-loop learning methods  provide strong, ongoing, targeted feedback to your audience  think it's just about kWh, evaluate beyond it (eg health, comfort, safety...)  think you need to do all evaluation yourself, use your collaborators to evaluate the bits they know best  leave evaluation til the end or ignore its importance in showing that your intervention worked  just model, measure as well  ignore the pathway of behaviour change that led to a kWh change – ask people (RE)-ITERATION PHASE  (re)iterate your intervention often  learn from your mistakes  listen to your collaborators and end users  ignore your evaluation  hide your mistakes and horror storries, they are often the ones we can learn the most from DISSEMINATION PHASE  understand your audience, collaborators and stakeholders, tailor your dissemination accordingly  tell stories, use social media and word of mouth  use trusted intermediaries to tell your story  spend all your money on (social) marketing campaigns  keep doing the same thing, peoples' willingness or brand awareness doesn't usually translate to behaviour change  tell a boring story about kWh  think you know better, ever
  36. 36. So… what’s the moral of the story of Task 24? For more information, visit • There is no silver bullet anywhere but the potential remains huge • Homo economicus doesn’t exist (in energy humans) • Habits are the most difficult thing to break, though it’s easiest during moments of change • There is no such thing as individual energy use • The old ways aren’t working but we need to go bigger, not smaller • We need to look at whole-system, societal change • This can’t be done in isolation by one sector - collaboration is key • Relationships and face-to-face meetings are key • It’s hard to find the right Behaviour Changers and break down the silos • Everyone has a piece of the puzzle but we can’t see the whole picture yet • We need a shared learning and collaboration platform that works • We also need a shared language based on narratives • We need to take people with us on this journey and co-create, not preach  It’s all about the people!
  37. 37. IEA DSM Task 24 Phase II Helping the Behaviour Changers
  38. 38. Task 24 – Phase II Objective in a tweet (or two) To develop, in collaboration with the Behaviour Changers, a toolbox of interventions that works for their specific DSM issues, contexts (sectoral and national), mandates and needs. We also aim to extract cohesive, overarching themes to tell a coherent international story.
  39. 39. The Subtasks of Phase II 5 – Expert Platform (upgraded) 6 – Understanding Behaviour Changer Practices inTop DSM Areas ‘The Issues’ 7 – Identifying Behaviour Changers in these areas ‘The People’ 8 – Developing a toolbox of interventions to help Behaviour Changers ‘TheTools’ 9 – Standardising Evaluation beyond kWh ‘The Measures’ For more information, visit 10 –Telling an Overarching Story ‘The Story”
  40. 40. Task 24 – Phase II How it all fits together What? Subtask 6 ‘The Issues’ Who? Subtask 7 ‘The People’ How? Subtask 8 ‘The Tools’ Why? Subtask 9 ‘The Measure’ So what? Subtask 10 ‘The Story’ Subtask 1 Subtask 2 Subtask 4 Subtask 5 Subtask 1 Subtask 4 Subtask 3
  41. 41. Task 24 Phase II The Energy System How does it look like now? For more information, visit
  42. 42. The way we currently look at the Energy System For more information, visit whole-system view which puts human needs, behaviours and (ir)rationalities at the center of interventions geared at system change. Instead, if we look at the Energy System through the human lens (Figure 2), we can see that it isn’t necessarily this top-down/left-right linear realtionship starting with supply and ending with the end user, but rather a circular relationship which actually starts with the end user need for an energy service (click here for a short video presentation explaining this in more detail). Figure 1. Current, linear way of looking at the energy system (starting with supply) T O P D O W N SUPPLY ! TRANSMISSION & DISTRIBUTION ! TECHNOLOGY ! USER
  43. 43. Another way we could look at the Energy System For more information, visit
  44. 44. The end user need for a service For more information, visit Personal comfort
  45. 45. The end user’s behavioural response For more information, visit Technology
  46. 46. The end user’s wider context For more information, visit 6 Cultural norms Infrastructure Geography/Cli mateBuilding stock Politics
  47. 47. The national context For more information, visit Transmission & Distribution Peak load issues
  48. 48. The national response For more information, visit Energy supply
  49. 49. Why is this system view circular? For more information, visit Feedback
  50. 50. Task 24 view of the Energy System For more information, visit We pose that the Energy System begins and ends with the human need for the services derived from energy (warmth, comfort, entertainment, mobility, hygiene, safety etc) and that behavioural interventions using technology, market and business models and changes to supply and delivery of energy are the all- important means to that end.
  51. 51. Task 24 Phase II The Collective Impact Approach For more information, visit Methodoloy of the Behaviour Changer Framework
  52. 52. A model for collaboration For more information, visit Collective impact = the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem.
  53. 53. Task 24 Phase II Subtask 6 – Understanding the Behaviour Changers’ Practices and Priorities “The Issues” For more information, visit Deciding on the issues to focus on for Canada
  54. 54. What are the Top DSM Issues here? For more information, visit Top DSM Issues: • Is there a national list of DSM issues? • What are the biggest behavioural potentials? • What DSM policies and programmes are already tackling these issues and how? • What are their approximate contribution to the country’s load management (economic, technical, political and societal potentials)?
  55. 55. Multiple Benefits? What are the potentials, risks and (multiple) benefits for the Top DSM Issues? Political (actual) potential Social Potential Economic Potential Technical potential RISKS? Multiple Benefits? Multiple Benefits?
  56. 56. Who is the End User whose behaviour we are trying to change? For more information, visit Tenants? In single homes or apartment buildings? Home owners? (single or apartment) Office workers in a large commercial building? Retail workers in smaller retail buildings? Landlords? Private or large-scale? Social housing? Commercial? Building Management Operators? Office or eg hospitals? Smart meter/feedback/EE technology installers or developers? Drivers? Truck or private vehicle? Behaviour or Mode Switching? Freight companies? Behaviour or technology switching? SMEs? Which sector? CEOs or energy managers/CFOs? Who else could it be? g at the energy system (starting with supply) DISTRIBUTION ! TECHNOLOGY ! USER
  57. 57. What behaviour are we actually trying to change? For more information, visit Home owners: Install PV, learn your home’s energy eco-system, share it with your neighbourhood’s energy eco-system (NZ) Commercial building tenants and landlords: co-develop green leases that work (SE) Restaurant owners/SMEs: close doors, turn off burners, lights etc (Fort Collins) Building Management Operators in Hospitals: Engage with energy managers, communicate and document energy savings better (CA) Drivers: Choose EVs over Eurodiesel, overcome fears (AT) SMEs: Overcome inertia, engage with new business models (NL) Wider public: Take up Hutt City Council’s recycling scheme (NZ) ON & DISTRIBUTION ! TECHNOLOGY ! USER
  58. 58. Task 24 Phase II Subtask 7 - The Behaviour Changer Framework “The People” For more information, visit A new way of visualising the energy system
  59. 59. Who are the RIGHT Behaviour Changers to collaborate on our issue/behaviour? For more information, visit Government – which level, agency, person/s? Industry – which sector, organisation, person/s? Researchers – which discipline, University, person/s? The Third Sector – which sector, association, person/s? Intermediaries – which sector, company, person/s?
  60. 60. Understanding the Behaviour Changers’ unique stories For more information, visit
  61. 61. For more information, visit
  62. 62. The Story of Task 24 – continued… For more information, visit
  63. 63. Thank you very much for your attention! Any comments or questions? For more information, visit