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How to change attitudes and behaviours in the context of energy

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  • Owens, Susan
  • Driffill, Louise
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    Abstract

    It is commonly assumed that attitudes and behaviours need to be modified to secure a sustainable energy future. This paper examines insights from the social sciences in this extensive field. Alongside instruments such as regulation and economic measures, government campaigns have sought to 'educate' the public. However, such 'information deficit' models have been criticised on theoretical and pragmatic grounds. In the area of energy consumption, there is a need to take account of the physical, social, cultural and institutional contexts that shape and constrain people's choices, and for a richer understanding of opposition to energy facility siting, which has often been (inadequately) characterised as 'NIMBYism'. Recent work also points to the need for more deliberation and better communication between decision-makers, technical experts, other stakeholders and the public. Predicting future developments in the field is challenging but attention is likely to focus on aspects of policy learning, a more critical examination of the 'deliberative turn', and the need for a systemic approach to complex socio-economic and socio-technical systems. The consistency of government objectives across all policy spheres is likely to provide an important avenue for future research.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V2W-4TP1FF7-5/2/a03bcee3a2de2c005e6ccfbf7cf4fc39
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 12 (December)
    Pages: 4412-4418

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:12:p:4412-4418

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

    Related research

    Keywords: Energy Behaviour Public engagement;

    References

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    1. R Kemp, 1990. "Why not in my backyard? A radical interpretation of public opposition to the deep disposal of radioactive waste in the United Kingdom," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 22(9), pages 1239-1258, September.
    2. Owens, Susan, 1985. "Potential energy planning conflicts in the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 546-558, December.
    3. Susan Owens, 2000. "'Engaging the public': information and deliberation in environmental policy," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 32(7), pages 1141-1148, July.
    4. Susan Owens, 2002. "A collision of adverse opinions' ? Major projects, planning inquiries, and policy change," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(6), pages 949-953, June.
    5. J Burgess & C M Harrison & P Filius, 1998. "Environmental communication and the cultural politics of environmental citizenship," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 30(8), pages 1445-1460, August.
    6. Dan Durning, 1999. "The transition from traditional to postpositivist policy analysis: A role for Q-methodology," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 389-410.
    7. S E Eden, 1993. "Individual environmental responsibility and its role in public environmentalism," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 25(12), pages 1743-1758, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Oikonomou, V. & Becchis, F. & Steg, L. & Russolillo, D., 2009. "Energy saving and energy efficiency concepts for policy making," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4787-4796, November.
    2. Andrea Kollmann & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Why does Environmental Policy in Representative Democracies Tend to be Inadequate? A Preliminary Public Choice Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3223, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Kubota, Hiromi & Hondo, Hiroki & Hienuki, Shunichi & Kaieda, Hideshi, 2013. "Determining barriers to developing geothermal power generation in Japan: Societal acceptance by stakeholders involved in hot springs," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1079-1087.
    4. Martinsson, Johan & Lundqvist, Lennart J. & Sundström, Aksel, 2011. "Energy saving in Swedish households. The (relative) importance of environmental attitudes," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5182-5191, September.
    5. Yue, Ting & Long, Ruyin & Chen, Hong, 2013. "Factors influencing energy-saving behavior of urban households in Jiangsu Province," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 665-675.
    6. West, J. & Bailey, I. & Winter, M., 2010. "Renewable energy policy and public perceptions of renewable energy: A cultural theory approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 5739-5748, October.
    7. Simcock, Neil & MacGregor, Sherilyn & Catney, Philip & Dobson, Andrew & Ormerod, Mark & Robinson, Zoe & Ross, Simon & Royston, Sarah & Marie Hall, Sarah, 2014. "Factors influencing perceptions of domestic energy information: Content, source and process," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 455-464.
    8. Ma, Guo & Andrews-Speed, Philip & Zhang, Jiandong, 2013. "Chinese consumer attitudes towards energy saving: The case of household electrical appliances in Chongqing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 591-602.
    9. Sweeney, Jillian C. & Kresling, Johannes & Webb, Dave & Soutar, Geoffrey N. & Mazzarol, Tim, 2013. "Energy saving behaviours: Development of a practice-based model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 371-381.
    10. Upham, Paul, 2009. "Applying environmental-behaviour concepts to renewable energy siting controversy: Reflections on a longitudinal bioenergy case study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4273-4283, November.
    11. Bai, Yin & Liu, Yong, 2013. "An exploration of residents’ low-carbon awareness and behavior in Tianjin, China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1261-1270.
    12. Schweiker, Marcel & Shukuya, Masanori, 2010. "Comparative effects of building envelope improvements and occupant behavioural changes on the exergy consumption for heating and cooling," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 2976-2986, June.
    13. Ochieng, E.G. & Jones, N. & Price, A.D.F. & Ruan, X. & Egbu, C.O & Zuofa, T., 2014. "Integration of energy efficient technologies in UK supermarkets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 388-393.
    14. Vanja WESTERBERG & Jette BREDAHL JACOBSEN & Robert LIFRAN, 2012. "The Multi-faceted Nature of Preferences for Offshore Wind Farm Siting," Working Papers 12-22, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jul 2012.
    15. DeWaters, Jan E. & Powers, Susan E., 2011. "Energy literacy of secondary students in New York State (USA): A measure of knowledge, affect, and behavior," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1699-1710, March.

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