NUDGE – NUDging consumers towards enerGy Efficiency through behavioral science

NUDGE- NUDging consumers towards enerGy Efficiency through behavioral science

Coordinator: IEECP

  • Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy Stichting (IEECP)
  • DOMX
  • Athens University of Economics and Business – Research Center (AUEB – RC)
  • Instituto de ciencia e inovacao em engenharia mecanica e engenharia industrial (INEGI)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI (FRAUNHOFER – ISI)
  • Zelena energetska zadruga
  • MVV Energie (MVV)
  • Interuniversitair micro-electronica centrum (IMEC)

NUDGE logo final

Efforts to induce energy-friendly behaviour from end users through behavioural interventions are characterized by a lack of customer personalization (“one-size-fits-all interventions”), a partial understanding about how different interventions interact with each other and contrasting evidence about their effectiveness, as a result of poor testing under real world conditions.

NUDGE has been conceived to unleash the potential of behavioural interventions for long-lasting energy efficiency behaviour changes, paving the way to the generalized use of such interventions as a worthy addition to the policy-making toolbox. We take a mixed approach to the consumer analysis and intervention design with tasks combining surveys and field trials. Firmly rooted in behavioural science methods, we will study individual psychological and contextual variables underlying consumers’ behaviour to tailor the design of behavioural interventions for them, with a clear bias towards interventions of the nudging type.

The designed interventions are compared against traditional ones in field trials (pilots) in five different EU states, exhibiting striking diversity in terms of innovative energy usage scenarios (e.g., PV production for EV charging, DR for natural gas), demographic and socio-economic variables of the involved populations, mediation platforms for operationalizing the intervention (smart mobile apps, dashboards, web portals, educational material and intergenerational learning practices).

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 957012.

The application of nudging techniques for energy efficiency stands nowadays highly fragmentary and remains currently more of an opportunity rather than a really operational game-changing policy tool that induces energy-friendly consumer behaviours, as originally anticipated. The grand objective of the NUDGE project is to systematically assess and fully unleash the potential of behavioural interventions towards achieving higher energy efficiency, paving the way to the generalized use of such interventions as a worthy addition to the policy-making toolbox. To achieve its ultimate objective, the project consortium sets out to convincingly address challenges, responding to shortcomings and cancelling out what stands as bottleneck to a more generalized practice of behavioural interventions.

Objective 1: Tailor the design of behavioral interventions to individual psychological and contextual variables by leveraging the data collection capabilities of digital mediation platforms and data analytics.

Objective 2: Execute extensive field trials (pilots) that address multiple instances of consumer behavior, implementing different mixes of behavior-based and traditional interventions even across participants of the same pilot.

Objective 3: Develop a systematic core and contextual research protocol to continuously measure the impact of the implemented behavioral interventions.

Objective 4: Consolidate the findings of pilots into recommendations towards policy makers and relevant stakeholders.

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