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Applying behavioural insights to demand side energy policies and programmes: where do we stand?

What behavioural factors act as barriers to energy saving behaviours, to the uptake of energy efficient, clean energy technologies and of sustainable mobility options? How can energy ministries, regulatory agencies and utilities leverage behavioural insights (BIs) to design and implement more effective energy policies and programmes?
In this webinar, Elisabetta Cornago from the International Energy Agency will present insights from the forthcoming Users TCP and IEA report on behavioural insights and demand side energy policy. Through the webinar, she will highlight behaviourally-informed policy interventions and programmes designed to encourage households and businesses to curb their energy consumption, to prompt investment in energy efficiency and in the uptake of renewable energy, and to encourage a shift to sustainable transport behaviours.

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Applying behavioural insights to demand side energy policies and programmes: where do we stand?

  1. 1. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. Applying behavioural insights to demand side energy policies and programmes: where do we stand? Elisabetta Cornago Users TCP Academy – 8 October 2020
  2. 2. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. Outline • What are behavioural insights and how can they support the energy policy process? • Case studies: how are behavioural insights used to encourage energy efficiency in - Residential building and appliances - Transport and mobility - Businesses • Key take-aways from case study analysis
  3. 3. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. What are behavioural insights, or BIs? Behavioural sciences Neurosciences Psychology Behavioural economics What are the drivers of individual behaviour? How can policy support behaviour change? What behavioural mechanisms affect energy consumption and associated decisions? What behavioural barriers • …prevent flexible and efficient energy use? • …hinder investment in energy efficient renovations, renewable energy? • …block the uptake of sustainable mobility?
  4. 4. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. How can BIs support the energy policy process? 1. Identify behavioural mechanisms acting as barriers to behaviour change Feedback is not available Choices have effects that arise in the distant future Choices are complex/infrequent Routine behaviour Feedback mechanisms Simplification and framing of information Social norms and comparisons 2. Design policies and utility programmes to address them with the right “levers”
  5. 5. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. Residential buildings and appliances • Promoting lower energy consumption in residential buildings • Promoting investment in energy efficient appliances and retrofits • Increasing the uptake of renewable energy among residential users Transport and mobility • Supporting purchases of fuel efficient vehicles • Encouraging walking, cycling and public transport use • Limiting the use of private motorized vehicles in urban areas Businesses and other organisations • Encourage businesses to reduce energy consumption • Encourage employees to make their workplace behaviour more energy efficient We analyse over 40 case studies across three sectors
  6. 6. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. Who applies BIs to energy policies and programmes?
  7. 7. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. Where do we observe energy-related BI applications?
  8. 8. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. Some concrete examples of BI applications
  9. 9. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. 1. Feedback provision: Home Energy Reports, digital devices Big data from smart meters enable utilities to provide detailed feedback through well-designed, intuitive tools (letters, displays…), prompting consumers to take action to save energy Monthly feedback: home energy reports (HERs) by utilities These are reports including social comparisons • Japan: -2% in electricity consumption • Malaysia: -1% to 3% • United States: -2% on average, but up to 6% Real-time feedback through smart digital devices • UK, smart meters and in-home displays: • -1.5% in gas consumption, -2.2% in electricity consumption • UK, smart thermostats: • -4.5% to 5% in gas consumption, without loss of thermal comfort
  10. 10. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. 2. Goal setting and prompts for demand response programmes Energy utilities use higher levels of customer engagement and gamification through goal setting and regular prompts to reduce energy consumption, esp. at peak time Australia: • Demand response challenges during 3-hour windows in exchange for small rewards • Electricity consumption reduced by 25-42% Canada: • Year-long challenge to curb 10% of power consumption in exchange for 50$ • Households often overshoot the objective
  11. 11. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. 3: Simplification and framing of energy efficiency labels Framing and simplification of information can improve consumer understanding of well-established policy tools like energy efficiency labels BIs have informed large scale reforms of energy efficiency labels • EU: redesign of appliance energy efficiency labels, A to G scale • US: fuel economy labels include information on fuel costs, savings, and gallons per mile
  12. 12. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. 4: Travel planning and gamification for sustainable mobility Structural barriers to sustainable mobility need to be addressed, but BI-informed “soft” transport policy can overcome some behavioural barriers, boosting walking and cycling • UK: Sustainable travel towns initiative • Multiple “soft” transport policy measures: • personalised travel planning; workplace and school travel planning • awareness campaigns; promotion of walking, cycling and public transport; • -9% car driver trips per person • +10-22% bus trips • +26-30% cycling trips, +10-13% walking trips • Australia: Change to walking initiative • Maps of local footpaths and worksheets for parents; • Games for schoolkids • +34% in active mobility
  13. 13. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. 5: Increasing relevance of energy efficiency for businesses Netherlands: workshop for energy managers - How to calculate benefits of EE investment  How to communicate them to top management - Translate benefits into business key performance indicators UK: how to raise the profile of energy audits? - Audit sign-off be should be done by two board-level Directors - Average priority placed on energy efficiency at board level has increased Framing information on energy efficiency investment in terms of business-specific benefits helps to make it relevant and to ensure it reaches decision-makers
  14. 14. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. Key take-aways from case study analysis
  15. 15. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. Need to shift from pilot projects to full-scale policies Most policy applications are pilots, while utility programmes have also been rolled out at full-scale. A lot of action at national level, but several successful interventions at local or business level too. Scale of implementation Specific business or building 5 Local / Municipal 7 State / Canton / Province 5 National 23 International 1Full scale policy 4 Full scale programme 12Trial 22 Level of implementation
  16. 16. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. The toolkit of behavioural levers is not exploited to its fullest Behavioural levers 0 10 20 30 40 50 Changes to the default policy or product specifications Changes to product design and to the physical environment Goal setting and commitment devices Reward schemes Simplification and framing of information Use of feedback mechanisms Use of social norms and comparisons
  17. 17. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. BIs can also enhance the impacts of “traditional” policies • Careful design makes energy efficiency labels better understood and more impactful • Increase impact and acceptability of city congestion pricing - London used BIs to design both the mechanism and the communications • Increase response to dynamic energy pricing by making it salient and easier to adjust to - US: critical peak pricing prompts higher energy savings than rebates • Rethink product specifications and standards with smart defaults: - India: as of January 2020, new room air conditioners have a default set-point temperature of 24°
  18. 18. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. Conclusions • Shifting from pilot projects to full-scale policies • Most interventions focus on households and individuals rather than organisation and business behaviours • Residential buildings and appliances • Changing habits: scale-up successful programmes, ensure persistency of energy-saving efforts • Prompting investment: consider community investment schemes exploiting social norms; reduce hassle factor associated with large-scale investments • Transport and mobility • Context-specific interventions to support sustainable mobility, based on local behavioural diagnostics • Energy efficiency in businesses • Sector-specific narratives for energy efficiency should leverage key performance indicators
  19. 19. IEA 2020. All rights reserved. Thank you
  20. 20. userstcp.org Webinars Annexes
  21. 21. userstcp.org

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  • Pierrejeancherret

    Oct. 30, 2020
  • ZaraAbba1

    May. 8, 2021

What behavioural factors act as barriers to energy saving behaviours, to the uptake of energy efficient, clean energy technologies and of sustainable mobility options? How can energy ministries, regulatory agencies and utilities leverage behavioural insights (BIs) to design and implement more effective energy policies and programmes? In this webinar, Elisabetta Cornago from the International Energy Agency will present insights from the forthcoming Users TCP and IEA report on behavioural insights and demand side energy policy. Through the webinar, she will highlight behaviourally-informed policy interventions and programmes designed to encourage households and businesses to curb their energy consumption, to prompt investment in energy efficiency and in the uptake of renewable energy, and to encourage a shift to sustainable transport behaviours.

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