Moderator: Tina Fawcett, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
This session presents three papers which focus on the effectiveness and evaluation of behaviour-based interventions to reduce energy use. The first two papers each present experience of an innovative behavioural initiative. From Switzerland we hear about a trial which persuaded drivers to swap their car for an e-bike for two weeks. The aim was to study participants’ motivation for taking part, their experiences during the trial and to identify whether such a free trial would influence intentions to reduce car use. From the UK, experience with a games-centric approach to eco education and engagement is presented. The interventions involved exposing the participants to a series of facts, figures and environmental actions, pertinent to their lifestyles, though the medium of play and social, offline games. Both of these approaches are still being developed, but their early results were positive, both in terms of how the participants experienced the intervention, and the effects on their behaviours and travel choices. These imaginative approaches to engaging with people on energy and transport choices offer new routes to carbon and energy reductions.
The third paper develops new evaluation instruments which can be used to test the effects of an intervention in terms of the ‘energy culture’ understanding of energy use. Energy culture considers what people have (material), what they do (practices), and what they think (norms) and the relationship between these elements, as well as the relationship with external influences. Evaluation using this framework can offer a deeper insight into how and why changes have occurred as result of an intervention. Initial tests of the evaluation instruments show them to have strong predictive validity and suggests they are good complements to traditional evaluation methods.
Together these papers expand the boundaries of what a behaviour change programme can be, and give us a more sophisticated way of understanding why and how behaviour changes occur. They are all being further developed, but already open up new ideas for improving programme design and evaluation.
PAPERS / PRESENTATIONS
Getting Started on a Car Diet: Assessing the Behavioural Impacts of an E-Bike Trial in Switzerland [paper] [presentation]
Corinne Moser, Zürich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW, Institute of Sustainable Development, Winterthur, Switzerland
Yann Blumer, Zürich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Winterthur, Switzerland
Stefanie Lena Hille, University of St. Gallen, Institute for Economy and the Environment, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Evaluating Energy Culture: Identifying and Validating Measures for Behaviour-based Energy Interventions [paper] [presentation]
Rebecca Ford, SEE Change Institute, Los Angeles, CA & Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
Beth Karlin, SEE Change Institute, Los Angeles, CA
Cynthia Frantz, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio