رفتارهای صرفه جویی در انرژی: توسعه یک مدل مبتنی بر عملکرد
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|26932||2013||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 61, October 2013, Pages 371–381
Financial pressure and concern for the environment has meant many consumers are aware of the need to reduce their consumption of many resources, including energy, which is the focus of the present study. While potential energy use deterrents in the form of access constraints and price increases are forms of extrinsic control, it is not clear how effective these are at reducing consumption and, indeed, it is not clear if such measures are consistent with people's underlying energy saving motivations. Beyond behavioural motivations, people's desires to reduce energy can be thwarted (barriers) and/or supported by a variety of factors, some within their control, while others are perhaps less so. Using a practice-based framework and a qualitative focus group approach, this study presents an exploratory study of these issues. Policy suggestions for overcoming barriers, as well suggestions as to how energy saving behaviours can be supported are offered.
Society's dependence on non-renewable energy sources and its impact on the planet's climate is a threat to global biodiversity and ultimately the quality of all life. Leading climate scientists have pointed to this danger (Climate change is real, 2011) and called on politicians to take action (Brown, 2011). However, the demand for energy continues to grow (IEA, 2010), leading to the need for a reassessment of how energy saving is addressed at a policy level (Perrels et al., 2006). The scientific literature is rich in research on energy, energy consumption and energy conservation, to the point where it is difficult to locate scientific consensus. What adds to the complexity is that research has been conducted across a broad variety of disciplines (Stephenson et al., 2010), with many models being used to explain consumers’ behaviour (see Kollmuss and Agyeman, 2002 and Jackson, 2005 for discussions). In much of the literature it is suggested consumers act rationally when provided with information and choice. Increased exposure to information is expected to increase awareness and knowledge, resulting in a reduction in consumption (Jackson, 2005). However, such approaches have lacked explanatory power; with Hargreaves et al. (2010), Lutzenhiser (2008) and Shove (2010) recently suggesting this may be due to their failure to consider the broader social and cultural factors that influence people's energy use and shape their practices. Stephenson et al. (2010, p. 6125) suggested differences in the way energy is used can be understood through the social system and culture in which people are located; leading them to suggest energy consumption behaviour results from “interactions between cognitive norms, material culture and energy practices.” Indeed, their ‘Energy Cultures’ framework is persuasive in its simplicity and ability to provide a detailed understanding of energy consumption. Moreover, they argue the three components assist in understanding energy use and the key barriers to behavioural change. Their ‘Energy Cultures’ framework is a useful starting point from which to develop a more inclusive energy saving model that includes recognised core determinants of energy saving (i.e. motivations, barriers and potential avenues for support). Indeed, the importance of support, particularly in respect to autonomy, has been highlighted as an important agent for engagement in environmental behaviour in the Self-Determination Theory literature ( Gagné, 2003 and Osbaldiston and Sheldon, 2003). Therefore the objectives of the present study are to (1) explore how social and cultural factors, such as knowledge, norms and technologies, and situational factors interact with motivations, barriers and support to influence energy saving behaviours: and (2) empirically assess this framework through qualitative research. While these issues are global in nature, the present study's context is Western Australia. Due to its recent resources boom, Australia's geographically largest state has experienced high economic and population growth. It is expected primary energy demand in Western Australia will continue to grow by more than 2% a year; having already doubled since 1988 (Office of Energy (OOE), 2011). On the back of economic growth, the average small consumer's use of energy has increased by 40% since 1994 and peak energy demand is expected to increase by 90% over the next 20 years (OOE, 2011). Consequently, the reduction of household energy demand is seen as a primary challenge for energy management (OOE, 2011).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Reducing household energy consumption is one of the major challenges facing energy providers and governments. This is especially true in Western Australia, which was the site for the present study, as the State has seen significant increases in demand for energy and is reliant on carbon intensive energy sources. The pressure from these interacting factors suggests a need to examine current energy use; in particular the motivations, barriers to reductions in energy use and the uptake of energy saving behaviours, and how support mechanisms might be introduced to sustain reductions in energy use. Previous research found energy saving is associated with at least three approaches; (a) curtailment behaviours, such as turning lights off; (b) the acquisition of energy efficient appliances and building improvements, such as installing insulation, to increase energy efficiency and (c) better maintenance of appliances and devices. Clearly, curtailment behaviours may be relatively easy and inexpensive at least for some electricity users, while purchasing energy saving appliances are more difficult to implement, requiring a large initial investment and in some cases a degree of knowledge and expertise to maximise their effect. Often acquisition of such appliances offers long term savings following a significant financial layout, which can influence their perceived short-term desirability. A clear finding from the present research is that attitudes and values are not always sufficient to generate energy saving behaviour and that saving depends on the consumer's situation, such as ownership of energy efficient devices. Thus, energy saving may be moderated by the affordability of highly efficient devices; as some consumers have to use low-cost, less efficient appliances. This finding is consistent with the reported weaknesses and inconsistencies in ‘value-action’ or ‘attitude-behaviour’ models associated with pro-environmental actions (Blake, 1999 and Mirosa et al., 2013). It also supports the contention that different strategies are likely to be required for households with different levels of income as well as housing type (Martinsson et al., 2011 and Thøgersen and Grønhøj, 2010). A practice-based energy-cultures framework (PBECF) was developed by extending Stephenson et al.'s (2010) ‘Energy Cultures Framework’. Such a perspective takes an overall view of energy saving, while recognising the linkages and interactions between the components and between the different barriers and avenues for support. Indeed the components ‘shape and are shaped by’ each other (Stephenson et al., 2010). This model represents a mental model of the world; inherent in this model is that a change in one component will lead to shifts across all of the components in the system until a balance between components is once more attained. Most consumers appeared to be motivated to save energy, however, a range of barriers and constraints that prevent some energy saving behaviours were identified. These range from unfavourable house designs that make it difficult to access power points, to personal preferences (e.g. cooling and heating levels). We also found some evidence that a small number of consumers may not be motivated to save energy if energy is affordable. This latter group is particularly challenging to target, as an increase in the cost of energy may not create an imbalance with respect to the central concepts in the study model. However, for other consumers, we identified several effective modes of support for energy saving, including support from family, community and government. Each barrier and support mechanism was associated with at least one of the model's components. Given the system approach and the balance among the components, which reflects ‘no change’ or ‘habitus’, the extended model offers insights into what inhibits positive change to cultural norms, material culture and energy practices and what supports general positive change. As a change is only required in one component to develop an imbalance among components this increases the opportunities to enhance a positive outcome; thus, the model is likely to be of use to policy makers seeking to generate such change. Interventions that generate a shift in behaviour might include online community forums among energy users to generate a change in the ‘thinking’, ‘having’ or ‘doing’ components. For example, the ‘thinking’ may be influenced by ‘user to user’ discussions, instructional videos and interactive tools, such as energy usage calculators. The ‘having’ may be influenced by creating and sharing an understanding and competence in the acquisition and use of energy efficient devices and tools. The ‘doing’ may be influenced through discussion and the sharing of energy saving tips and strategies. Such an intervention would offer a low cost, wide reach medium that may moderate the three components; ultimately leading to an increase in energy saving behaviours. The role of computer-based technology as a support mechanism that enhances autonomously motivated behaviours has largely been confined to education (i.e., Yumuk, 2002), digital gaming (i.e., Wang et al., 2008) and diabetes care (Williams et al., 2007) and represents a fruitful opportunity for further research.