Dr Rebecca Ford is a member of the Energy Cultures team at the University of Otago. She gives us an insight into the results of their multi-year study into understanding people’s relationship with energy. They have identified four clusters of energy behaviours: energy economical, energy extravagant, energy efficient and energy easy. Which one of these you fit into is influenced by your material culture (such as what sort of house you live in), your energy practices, social norms and external influences. What motivates change is also different for each group.
In another part of the Energy Cultures study the team examined the critical points in people’s energy change stories. In addition to the drivers of change and attractors (eg new technology being easier), they found that access to the right sort of advice is critical – and the most important influencer is what we get from friends and family. Given the importance of the social network the team has ongoing work is exploring how to ensure that the information on these friends and family networks is reliable. The question then is how to support an ongoing conversation around energy.
Shane’s number of the week: 1.4 Billion. In pounds this is the pretax global profit of trading company Glencore who this week described the worst drought to hit the US since the 1930s will be “good for Glencore” because it will lead to opportunities to exploit soaring prices.
Sam’s joined-up-thinking: Prompted by an interesting paper by Carlo Fabricatore and Ximena Lopez it is games that engage people in sustainability that concern Sam this week (read more>>>).