Create awareness of habits

It is usually hard to break old habits or adopt new ones. Most people need to be made aware that they can influence their energy consumption significantly through changes in energy usage habits.

What you need to do: 

1. Select a message that connects with your target group's circumstances. The initial message needs to be conveyed at the right time by someone trusted by members of your target group.

2. Describe habits that can contribute to energy saving (like ventilation, thermostat use, use of lights). Give examples of how changes in those habits can contribute to energy and cost savings.

3. Help your target group identify daily routines that contribute to those habits. Use home or workplace energy checks to raise awareness of habits. Get people involved in researching and analysing their own behaviour and what triggers it.

When does it work?: 
  • When the issues you are dealing with are fairly simple and easy for your target group to understand.
  • When you have good evidence for your case and the need for change is widely accepted.
  • When you are quite familiar with your target group, their awareness level, and the causes of the behaviour you are trying to change.
What do you need to look out for: 

You need to be careful and quite sensitive!

► People may find it insulting if an outsider tells them that they are “doing it wrong”.

► Don’t present ‘problems’ unless there is a solution available!

► When you ‘shock’ people by telling them how much energy they use, you need to follow up with workable solutions.