ENGAGEMENT, MOBILIZATION, CONCERTATION
Sustainable behaviours and social psychology: An action-research for transition.
Nicolas FIEULAINE (University of Lyon 2/ Group for Research in Social Psychology)
Frédéric MARTINEZ (University of Lyon 2/ Group for Research in Social Psychology)
Yvan BIDALOT (Local Energy Agency of Lyon)
Diane GEFFROY (social psychologist)
How to raise awareness of climate issues? How to motivate the necessary transitions in lifestyles to reduce the impact of behaviour on the climate? What are the barriers and resources to develop consideration for environmental challenges? From these shared questions, the GRePS Laboratory at the Institute of Psychology works since 2012 with the Rhône Alpes network for Energy Information, which brings together actors promoting energy savings and sustainable behaviours, in its educational initiatives and actions of communication. The scientific support was based on recent research in social psychology on the process of change, temporality and persuasive communication. Beyond the theories of engagement widely disseminated among stakeholders, the approach was to examine prospects/perspectives (in time, space, social) from which individuals and groups address issues related to the ecological transition. More importantly, it was necessary to question how these individual perspectives and the frame of environmental communications are matched and as such define horizons and climates that fit more or less the groups targeted by the actions. From observations and analysis of existing action (participatory meals , communityt workshops), a training program was designed, to show by simulation exercises how psychosocial factors can be taken into account in the design of actions. A supporting program has also been conducted with environmental education stakeholders (testing of a psychosocial « hotline » offering advice for the design and animation of actions). Finally, this partnership has led to the co-design of new educational tools, especially the new calendar of seasonal fruits and vegetables, which aims to encourage the purchase of products with low environmental impact (seasonal products are more often from local production and need less energy). Designed as a field experiment, such as the accompanying communication, this calendar will be evaluate on its impact on the perceptions and practices. At the crossroad of the needs of practitioners, and the latest theoretical developments in social psychology , the whole process and its results should stimulate debate on challenges, approaches and tools to promote energy transition.
KEY WORDS :
Effects of normative feedbacks on effective behaviours and on the representation of electric energy consumption and related behaviours.
Johanna LE CONTE (University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense/LAPPS, EA 4386)
Numerous studies illustrate the effectiveness of normative feedback in reducing energy consumption. This type of intervention seems promising in Anglo-Saxon countries (Ayres, Raseman & Shih, 2009. Petersen et al, 2007; Schultz et al., 2007; Nolan et al., 2008). Is the comparison between pairs in a French context as effective as it is in the others countries? What are the consequences of this intervention on effective behaviours and energy’s representations?
In a first study, we have implemented individualized normative feedbacks of reported habits. The aim was to observe their effects on the assessments of energy consumption (actions and consumption). The message informed the participant of its position, in comparison with the average of the least efficient energy students and the average of all students participating in the study. A second research program dealt with the influence of normative feedbacks on the use of the computer sleep mode within a professional context.
The results of the first study show that participants stated that they would perform more actions and consume less electric energy consumption in long term rather than short term. This effect is corrected through normative feedback, especially among participants that have low pro-environmental habits. These participants are more sensitive to social comparison, in comparison with participants that have stronger habits. Normative feedbacks allow for correcting these assessments. In the second study, significant changes were observed: normative feedbacks provide significant increase in setting up sleep mode, only for individuals that previously didn’t do it much. Participants who received these types of feedback subsequently adopted this behaviour. Like the study of Schultz et al. (2008), we observed a rebound effect in participants that already used the sleep mode before our study: feedbacks have a demoralizing effect and decrease performance. Adding an injunction allows us to slightly counterbalance this effect. These results indicate the need to consider past behaviours of individuals before implementing interventions such as feedbacks.
KEY WORDS: feedback, social norms, behaviours, energy conservation.
Energy Living Lab: an open innovation ecosystem for the energy transition.
Joëlle MASTELIC (University of Applied Science Western Switzerland/UASWS)
Today « Social Acceptance » in the energy field is a frequently discussed theme: how to increase the « acceptance » of users for “innovations” developed by engineers?
This action-research project builds on research in the field of Open Innovation (Chesbrough, 2003). The starting point of our work is to not consider the user at the end of the value chain, as a consumer of resources and destroyer of value, but rather place the user at the beginning of the value creation chain. In this paper, we demonstrate how the user takes part in the creation of new energy products and services in an innovation ecosystem called Living Lab, involving a partnership between public- and private-sector actors, as well as users.(Pallot et al., 2010).
In our pilot study, a physical and virtual interface has been made available for the stakeholders in the Swiss Chablais region, involving the local energy utility, public transportation company, as well as an equestrian center and association of users. Three projects have been selected to test the following hypothesis, which were validated through our work: (H1) Living Lab methods are applicable to the energy field; and (H2) ideas proposed by users are valued by public and private companies engaged in the Living Lab.
The open ideation process has generated more than 500 new ideas towards energy efficiency services. Private and public sector partners are slated to implement ideas with the highest rating, from a community of ‘experts’. We also found that methods that engage in physical contact with users seem to generate better results than methods based only on virtual interfaces. In our future research, we plan to integrate new companies into the innovation ecosystem and further understand the co-creation methods adapted in each step of the innovation process.
KEY WORDS: living lab, open innovation, regional development, energy.
Innovative metrology and eco-behaviour supporting energy transition: the MIUSEEC project within Darwin.
In 2010, the group Evolution undertakes the eco-renovation of an old heritage building, in order to propose a program of tertiary and business activities, with a willingness to become an example at all levels of energy and ecological efficiency: the Darwin eco-system.
Building on the observation that use and behaviour are a key elements and still underdeveloped in energy management, the initiators of the Darwin project want to provide the site with a metrology device to stimulate eco-friendly uses. However, it has been shown that feedback tools alone are not enough to change the behaviour of the users.
The MIUSEEC project is therefore proposing to develop a restitution interface allowing evaluating the environmental impacts of uses and behaviours. This interface will become a real eco control panel of the building, accessible in a simple and playful way, based on the principle of « gamification. »
Adopting a participatory approach, the project also aims to assist the « Darwiniens » to reduce the overall environmental costs of the functioning of the project while preserving the quality of the working environment.
MIUSEEC is based on multidisciplinary work, strongly influenced by the contribution of social sciences and the involvement of the “Darwiniens” at each stage of the project, analysis of the context and needs in the evaluation phase.
Indeed, if the prime objective of this project is to provide an interface, it should be appropriate and easy to be appropriated, meet the expectations and needs of the “Darwiniens”, in both contents and form to have a real behavioural impact.
This tool should play the role of an important « facilitating external condition » by encouraging the development of the desired eco-responsible behaviour. Especially in the case of this project the initial attitudes of the tenants are already particularly positive vis-à-vis the energy issue (support for the project, signed a green lease, …).
In brief, the MIUSEEC project attempts to answer a fundamental question on energy and environmental transition; which actions are the right ones to generate a real change in behaviour and involvement in the long-term?
Some answers emerge from the analysis of different surveys and participatory workshops conducted with Darwinians as part of this project.
KEY WORDS: energy saving, eco-responsible behaviour, metrology, participatory approach, office building.
Reflections on motivations for energy involvement: toward energy profiles?
Stéphane LA BRANCHE (Science Po Grenoble/Pacte associate Researcher)
The presentation will present transversal results from different studied undertaken on representations, values and beliefs linked to energy conservation, efficiency and management at home. The first is the Positive Energy Family Challenge; the second explored residents’ capacity at appropriating for themselves their new energy technology linked to the Greenlys smartgrid and finally, the third analyzed (from a larger European study) the capacity of energy information at modifying energy behaviours (« Empowering »). We will show through these different examples that several common energy profiles emerge. The last study however, had a specific population, much less studied by energy sociology: energy poverty-prone individuals. While the same profiles can be found in this group as in the other two, however, they show specific characteristics: they are more inclined to adopt different logics and rationalities in their energy conservation efforts, and their motivations are also more complex.
The following logics of action and engagement have been identified: comfort; economical; ecological; technophile; energyphile; and habitat (and self-) mastery.
KEY WORDS: energy, representations, behaviours, energy profiles.
Brakes and motivations to greater energy efficiency and simplicity – EMPOWERING: The example of an awareness campaign for energy savings based on the monitoring of consumption.
The energy transition and climate change leads policy makers to set ever more ambitious targets on energy savings. The residential sector accounting for a large part of energy consumption in France (approximately 40%), it is a key target group. Efforts to identify the right levers to accompany consumers in energy efficiency and conservation bring us to call in question the premise that improving the information delivered to consumers leads naturally to behavioural change and expected energy savings. The sociological study led under the EMPOWERING program occurs in this context.
Our research has explored perceptions on energy as well as barriers and levers playing a role – or not – in the consumer appropriation of the communication on energy consumption practices. This follows other studies led by S. La Branche on these questions in adding a new perspective focusing on fuel poor households. If these fields have been well studied in sociology, in terms of energy sociology, especially regarding recent home energy efficiency, sobriety and management (often linked to new technologies), this group of population has been less explored. Based on semi-directive interviews and in comparison with other recent studies on the same questions (see the short bibliography) the survey provides the following answers: have fuel poor consumers different energy representations from other households? Are their energy profiles any different? Are their values, motivations and barriers in terms of home energy sobriety and management different? Rather than a criticism, our survey is an in-depth study of the results already produced in this field. The first part of the intervention will present user’s profiles, their motivations, logics of action and the way their energy consumption practices are built, as a result – or functioning in autonomy. The second part will answer questions raised providing elements of explanation. This survey suggests that fuel poor motivations are not fundamentally different from those of other studies. However, there are some discrepancies between representations and energy profiles. Especially, they tend to be more different logics of actions, sometimes complementary, sometimes in opposition.
KEY WORDS: .
Communication and behaviour change: an analysis of 40 years of communication campaigns of the French agency for environment (ADEME) for cutting energy consumption of dwellings.
Since the first oil shock in 1973, the French government is trying to influence the behaviour of households to reduce their energy consumption. To do this, they launched regularly – via the French Agency for the Environment (ADEME) – communication campaigns promoting efficient behaviour. But sociological studies (Brisepierre, 2013; Comby, 2013; Pautard, 2009) have shown that these campaigns have not led to major behavioural changes. This failure is due, at least in part, to a communication model of ADEME built around a certain representation of public and some relationship to knowledge and scientific expertise.
To explore this hypothesis, we attempted to characterize the communicative profile of ADEME and its evolution since 1973. Our study is based on a theoretical framework between didactics and communication in the perspective of science studies. We state that communication booklets of ADEME are speeches made of knowledge, sometimes controversial, and adressed to different audiences (level of knowledge, sensitivity to environmental issues, etc.) to change their energy consumption behaviour. We analyzed these booklets to clarify their discursive structure (Charaudeau, 2008), the way ADEME considers knowledge (Favre, 1997), how controversies are treated (Moreau, 2014) and the representation of public (Trench, 2008) at stake.
The results of our analysis show that the communicational profile of ADEME has been being steady for 40 years. The speech, consensual in appearance, mobilizes scientific expertise to offer solutions that households must implement to reap the benefits, primarily economic. Households are considered as a uniform public, in demand of information, and waiting for solutions to reduce their energy consumption. ADEME also exposes a « dogmatic » approach of knowledge (Favre, 1997), which tends to “cool down” controversies, such as that relating to energy-saving lamps.
While the analysis conducted here is only partial with respect to the diversity of communication strategies of ADEME for behavioural changes, we think we have begun to characterize a model of communication. Today we reformulate our hypothesis as follows: this model can be a barrier to changes in the extent that it does not sufficiently take into account the specificities of the housholds in terms of questioning, values, representation and insofar it fails to include the communicational strategies in a public perspective.
KEY WORDS: energy savings, behaviours, discourse, knowledge, publics.
Adopting of the follow-up energy consumption and its efficiency conditions on inhabitants practices.
Gaëtan BRISEPIERRE (freelance sociologist, GBS)
Public authorities decided the generalization in every french home the use of communicating meters for electricity and gas before 2020. These investments will be paid back by a tax added to energy bill and are very often justified by the alleged ability of the meters to produce energy savings. In other words they rely on the hypothesis according to which the consumer information improvement through the follow-up will incite him to adopt thriftier behaviour.
This communication aims at denying this claim by showing that information is efficient only as part of a more global plan of accompaniment to change. It relies on four fields surveys made with the actors of energy mastering sensibilisation campaign including the concept of individualised and up to date energy consumption follow up. First, system put by social lessors following the moving in a new LCB (low consumption building) or the putting up consumption TV displaying system ; second the help of Familles à Energie Positive in two french districts.
On one hand we will show that information doesn’t exist in itself, it is circulated through systems which must be fully understood by actors. The interest show by the dwellers for consumption data remains very restricted . This lack of interest is partly a result of starting in disheartening system. These data look like a possible condition of new sensibilisation system brought forward by local powers. They are both the financing medium of these campaign and also the establishment of new relations with the people concerned. Moreover, the adding up of these data allow to foresee new action possibilities of energy mastering for the housing project or an area.
On the other hand, we will show that the consumption following up services can only end up in behaviour changes lasting on condition only they are part of three levers system : cognitive, material, social. First the appropriation of gross consumption data is very relative, they become meaningful when they are associated witch concrete learning about means of action as well as a social enhancing of thrifty behaviour. Second, the material dimension of all the objects which contribute to hold up effort of transforming daily routines as well as enrolment in a long term action aiming at the building conversion. At last, all the relational dynamics which takes place among families, between participants in the same campaign and with actors finally end up in the metamorphis of pratices in the long run.
KEY WORDS: campaign awareness, behaviour changes, smart grids/smart meters, consumption follow up, accompaniment.
Linky, the making of a smart encounter.
In response to climate change threats, governments aim at energy sober societies. Better efficiency is hoped through digitalizing the electric grid and electricity consumption, leading to a better awareness from the consumers about their choices and behavior. Within this plan of action, the new smart meter appears emblematic of this effort. A « smart encounter » is expected between individuals and their new meter, as the quick and rapid feedback provided about electricity consumption would allow them to experiment new practices.
Field research conducted with individuals equipped with the new meter Linky, and resting upon an ethnographic-based methodological set (group meetings, individual diary, questionnaires, interpretation) has allowed to approach the concrete appropriation on the smart meter.
Participants reasoning deals first with the goal of sustainable consumption which appears difficult to reach in everyday life, albeit globally accepted. Are then considered different levels of responsibility to be shared among the public and private spheres. Participants raise as well the contradiction between the sobriety quest and the generalized incitement to consume more. Finally, the dominant model of individual consumerism is put at a distance to consider more collaborative and friendly consumption modes.
The usefulness of feedback to realize savings is not a priori rejected and Linky seems to find his place in a « smart encounter ». However, it is necessary to underline that participants involvement in small group activities of deliberation and interpretation is likely to have facilitated the appropriation of the smart meter as a technological innovation and a public policy device. Under these conditions, a form of empowerment has strengthened the innovative capacity of participants. The new meter, invested as a social object, triggered a wider awareness of consumption which became a change issue to be investigated at several levels.
The smart appears simultaneously as a technological system, a public policy instrument, and a social object. The making of this « socio-political-technical » set is complex as each axis cannot be reduced to the others. The social object can play a central role as it makes possible a creative appropriation of technical features which contribute to the public policy of sobriety. The deployment of the new meter presents a rare opportunity to associate citizens reasoning about energy transition issues. Hence appears a test for society: is it able to decompartmentalize its functioning to effectively involve the largest number ?
KEY WORDS: Linky, feedback, ethnography, empowerment, opening.
The Energy Neighbourhood project, an example of incentive to sober energy use : what underlying dynamics ?
Evelyne CORDEAU (University of Nantes/LEMNA-TEPP)
This communication bases on the ground of studies of the thesis, worth namely the Energy Neighbourhood project. Indeed, this challenge tries to transform the lifestyles of the participants to bring them towards a sober energy use. Then, we will examine the profile of the participants in the challenge and the determinants connected to their success.
First of all, let us explain a little the challenge: it exists in France since 2008, called “Familles à Energie Positive”, set up by the association Prioriterre, as an adaptation of the challenge to the European level Energy Neighbourhoods. The objective is to reduce the energy consumptions of at least 8 % compared with the previous winter by modifying only its behaviours by eco-friendly gestures. It concerns all the eco-friendly gestures prescribed to decrease the energy connected to its heating: lower the temperature, clean its radiators, put an insulating material last one the radiator … It is also valid for energy expenditure related to the cooking, as for the spending of electricity. This challenge bases on the idea of team (the individual performances do not matter, only the reduction in all the team is significant) with a captain who serves as team leader and relay of information between families and organizer. On average, on the edition 2013-2014, the participating teams in France realized 18 % of energy saving compared with the previous year, thus beyond the fixed objective.
Thanks to the data of energy consumption of the participants of the edition 2013-2014 and to a questionnaire sent to summer 2014, we wil try to draw up several consumers’ profiles according to variables socioeconomic, the lifestyle of the family, etc., but we will also explore the causes of their success in the challenge. Indeed, we notice for example, a strong link between the appreciation of the challenge and the reduction of the energy consumption. So, we wish to highlight the process of change via notions used often in social psychology and in sociology such as the commitment, the importance of a numbered objective, the role of feedbacks namely the follow-up of the real time consumption, but also the role of the entourage that is, the power of the local social norm on the change of behaviour, or still the environmental sensibility. We hope we can also complete the analysis with a questionnaire on the sustainability of gestures on the farmer participants.
To conclude, this communication bases on the mobilization of various disciplinary fields as economics, the sociology, the psycho sociology, even the political sciences by considering the challenge for an action of public policy to reduce the CO2 emissions of its territory. So, it is important to know better the inhabitants who join voluntarily this research for sober energy use, to improve the processes of change of behaviour of the inhabitants in the fight against climate change.
KEY WORDS: environmental economics; energy behaviours; energy saving ; behavioural incentives.
Reducing domestic energy consumption with smart grids: providing support, advice and incentives to users in Japanese Smart Communities.
Benoit GRANIER (University of Lyon /Institute of Asie Orientale-IAO – UMR 5062)
To tackle the energy transition challenge, a consensus has been reached on the need for dramatic social and technical changes to take place. In particular, individuals are encouraged to change their behaviour and way of life. They are urged not only to reduce their energy consumption, but also to live with and adapt to a number of technical devices expected to lead to significant energy savings.
However, actual results very often unmet these expectations (Renauld 2012, Zélem 2010), especially and more recently in the case of smart grids. Indeed, on the one hand users do not take part in the conception and design of technology and services that hardly take into consideration their daily practices; on the other hand, little support is provided for residents who have difficulty using the devices and consequently do not behave in the predicted way (Zélem, Gournet & Beslay 2013, Strengers 2013).
This paper aims to focus on smart grid-centred projects which, although not involving users at an early stage, go beyond the mere and insufficient information delivery (Bartiaux 2008) since they implement ambitious coaching and support programmes, while adjusting the services and technologies to users’ feedback. The four Japanese Smart Communities, which have been selected and supported by the Japanese government since 2010, are such projects. Therefore, the proposal intends to study the combination of such support and advice provision with the implementation of manifold economic, game-based, social and moral incentives. Last but not least, the objective is also to analyse the results in terms of energy use, and to identify the limits of such a strategy.
KEY WORDS: Smart Grids, energy transition, domestic consumption, behaviour change, Japan.
Mastering the energy efficient renovation and social housing information systems.
In France, nearly 10 million people living in social housing, 755 social landlords manage some 4.2 million homes. These units concentrated in households greater social difficulty (aging, insecurity, poverty, energy insecurity, etc.). For their part, social landlords are changing their heritage to efficient buildings (construction and renovation of BBC type) that alter the ways of living. Accompanying tenant becomes a condition of the energy performance of new housing and the prevention of fuel poverty.
Communication based on the experience of Pas-de-Calais Habitat, 3rd public office habitat in France, with around 40,000 units, which arises innovative lessor brings new technical solutions and listening to his tenants. In the context of two European program (IFORE – Innovation for Renewal – and EnergyTic) Pas-de-Calais Habitat has implemented a socio-technical approach based on: 1) an innovative renovation operation of individual houses (exterior insulation walls waterspouts pariétodynamiques windows, etc.), 2) the organization of group activities: technical workshops, inter-site, Channel visits festivities visits, etc. 3) Energy information with service monitoring of energy on digital tablets including more than 300 were distributed to volunteers households, 4) consumption recruiting a team of Ambassadors habitat, 5) the evolution of the profession of personal proximity with nearly 600 will be trained to support tenants in energy efficiency.
The analysis of these operations shows that technical solutions are not enough, but must be accompanied by human actors trust. The energy efficiency is in fact a pretext for the establishment of new relations of proximity between the landlord and tenants, opening non-stigmatizing manner on all issues confronting tenants (health, isolation, financial, etc.). For their part, the personal proximity see their business significantly upgraded from claims management and garbage, and the socio-technical council to listen to the problems of households. These guidelines scrambling forms of management and the entire organization of the lessor must adapt its internal workings and open up new services to the person.
KEY WORDS: social housing renovation, energy information, socio-technical support, changing business.
The importance of sociological factor in the Watt & Moi trial, an online electricity consumption monitoring system.
Mikaël LEGROS (Senzo, Institute of Sociological Studies and Marketing)
Émilie BLOSSEVILLE (Senzo, Institute of Sociological Studies and Marketing)
Fabien COUTANT (Atlante&Cie, Consulting firm in energetic strategy)
ERDF, the distribution system operator and GRANDLYON HABITAT, the social landlord of Greater Lyon, have carried out the Watt & Moi trial for two years : 1116 households with Linky smart meters have had free access to their detailed energy consumption data via a secured Internet website and have received educational support.
The combination of sociological surveys and quantitative analysis, both completed during the Watt & Moi trial, enabled a in-depth analysis of the tenants’ acceptance of the device, their use of it and their behavior evolution regarding energy management. The project was run under the auspices of the french energy regulator called as “Commission for Energy Regulation”. The results were regularly communicated to all energy stakeholders.
This experiment is unique in France. Two years after its beginning, it demonstrated that the adoption of a service such as Watt & Moi is based primarily on a suitable education and a favorable behavioral inheritance. The service has been much appreciated by the users and consulting it became an habit like the consultation of bank accounts or news websites. Watt & Moi proved to be an effective awareness tool, that empowers consumers, encourages them to better track their energy expenditure and guide their energy-management practices.
KEY WORDS: Linky; energy management; education; website; changes in behavior.
Challenges with evaluation of school projects in the context of energy efficient refurbishment.
Edith HOLLÄNDER (Institute for Resource Efficiency and Energy Strategies /IREES)
The school environment is the ideal place for including energy efficient issues in the context of applied refurbishment measures of a school building. The refurbishment process can be used for educational purpose by discussing the topic in lesson and hereby having an impact on energy efficient behavior of the students. Exploring these effects by conducting surveys in schools is a challenge which has to be addressed carefully. There are only few papers which address the planning and realisation of school surveys (e.g. Madge et al. 2012). Against the background of sustainability our team accompanied about 50 schools in several large-scaled projects. Drawing on these experiences this paper discusses the challenges of surveys in schools and gives recommendations for future research in this field.
We used the insights of a pilot study to develop a standard questionnaire for students (age: 10-18 years) and teachers on the classroom situation. Our main research question was the comparison of the new situation against the old situation. The questionnaire was a paper and pencil based and designed to take no longer than 15 minutes. We had to ensure that the questionnaire can be understood without personal explanation. It turned out to be essential to design the teacher’s questionnaire obviously different from the students questionnaire. The cooperation process with the schools turned out as a challenge because of the many stakeholders involved in the process of the survey: School administrator, head of school and partly parents for collaboration. Secretary, teachers, students and partly school administrator, head of school and technicians for realisation. The information sent to the schools by email included the letter from the ministry, an information sheet for the head of school and teachers and sometimes a letter of consent for parents. We offered each school their survey results as an incentive, to provide them with information on their own situation. An external data management company was commissioned and supervised. A response rate of 65 % can be recorded. The data file used for the analysis underwent limited data editing because of plausibility checks: Some questionnaires returned had very high rates of missing data (over 70 %) and were therefore excluded from the analysis. Apparently wrong answers could be detected with different checks. Questionaire effects and bias in answering of retrospective questions are discussed. Open ended questions helped us to sort out students who obviously didn’t take the questionnaire seriously. Because of the character of the research project the selection of schools for the survey was purposive rather than random. In addition, the assignment of the students to the control and the treatment group was not random. The possibility of sampling and selection bias therefore cannot be excluded. We assume, however, that both the sample from the basic population as well as the control from the treatment group do not differ significantly in terms of demographic or socio-economic characteristics or other factors which may confound any attempt to make comparisons between the two groups.