An evaluation of local authority social network interventions for the promotion of energy efficiency measures in the domestic sector

Nick McCullen, Catherine Bale, Timothy Foxon, William Gale

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Local governments at city and regional level have a key role in promoting the uptake of energy-efficiency measures by households through schemes such as the UK’s Green Deal financing mechanism. However, there is little understanding of the role that social network interactions between householders play in ensuring the successful diffusion of energy-efficiency measures. In this paper we explore the role of local authorities in using interventions designed to use interactions on social networks to promote uptake of energy-efficiency measures in the domestic sector. Both the individual preferences of households and the influences that they experience from peer groups and the wider population (through social norms) are important factors in the adoption of energy innovations, and local authorities have the means to harness these influences to their advantage in encouraging increased adoption. The role of social networks in the spread of information on energy-efficient technologies and behaviours is a relatively new area for research, but one which draws on evidence of success in other areas, such as health. To investigate this, we use results from modelling work recently conducted by the authors, and examples of methods used in practice by local authorities in the UK and elsewhere to promote uptake of energy-efficiency initiatives. This enables us to appraise the potential utility of different types of social network interventions for promoting uptake, including interventions aimed at individuals, groups, and the network structure itself. In conclusion, we present the resulting insights into the use of network interventions by local authorities for promoting uptake of energy-efficiency measures in the domestic sector, and examine current UK and EU policy to see to what extent it supports implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages747-456
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventECEEE Summer Study Proceedings - , UK United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jun 2013 → …

Workshop

WorkshopECEEE Summer Study Proceedings
CountryUK United Kingdom
Period3/06/13 → …

Keywords

  • Local authorities
  • social networks
  • domestic energy efficiency
  • adoption; energy efficiency programmes
  • modelling

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