How NUDGE is crossing the bridge between changing our energy habits and moving away from our dependence on Russian gas

As energy prices keep soaring, and the struggle to adapt and decrease dependence on Russian gas is more concerning than ever, several have collected tips to save energy and lower our dependence on gas. NUDGE, a project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, is contributing by sharing ideas from its research. NUDGE is the perfect example of how behavioural change can be a bridge between the two as it provides solutions to push and guide citizens to reduce their energy consumptions in a direct (and indirect!) impactful way. The project shows there are many ways to save energy in our own homes, especially if you are nudged to, just as the 4 pilot cases are experimenting, with a variety of savings on the energy spectrum.

Awareness and attention

One of the many ways to save energy and reduce our dependence on Russian gas is annotate our own consumption behaviours. Indeed, Lockton et al. 2014 have collected that the process of recording and writing down our energy consumption allows to have a better understanding of our own habits and routine on how energy is managed in the household. The NUDGE project pushes for citizens to be aware of their own energy habits and consumption and investigates how nudging them influences the energy consumption. For instance, the pilot in Belgium offers interdisciplinary project-based education on home energy consumption for children: as they can have a direct impact on household rules and habits, it is key to educate and involve them in the energy savings approach.

Small ways go a long way

Another way to have a direct impact on our energy consumption is to set simple habits into our daily lives, like lowering the thermostats by 1°C which would have in the end a high impact in reducing gas demand (by around 10 bn cubic metres a year, which equals to 7% of Europe’s annual imports from Russia), as estimated by the IEA.

Other actions can include:

  • Turning of radiators in unused rooms
  • Drawing curtains to keep the heat in
  • Turning of lights
  • Unplugging electric devices unused
  • And in times of heatwaves like we experience this summer throughout Europe, look out for non-energy cooling measures: use shades and blinds, nature-based solutions, stay inside, do not overheat by using appliances that will produce heat to work, etc. More here.

You can find out more concrete examples from NUDGE’s pilots in Portugal, Greece and Belgium that nudge and push consumers in different ways to make energy savings within their homes and makes them active participants and aware of these changes.

Another article from The Guardian also underlines the advantages of owning an electric vehicle, which could save 2 tonnes of CO2 a year and help end dependence on fossil fuel (CCC). We know that NUDGE’s pilot in Germany provides an EV-Charging App, which enables households to optimize EV-charging with self-produced solar energy. Nudging interventions are sequentially delivered to end-users through updated versions of the portal and smartphone applications.

💡Find out more about the NUDGE project here

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