Report – Profiling of energy consumers: psychological and contextual factors of energy behavior

This report builds on the results of the first NUDGE activities, especially the Europe-wide online survey, made available in 15 languages and completed by persons in 29 countries which broke fresh ground in the study of energy-related behaviour by operationalizing three theoretical models of human behaviour.

The results were used to profile energy consumers and understand their behaviour in relation to energy efficiency and are presented in the first NUDGE report.

  • What factors are barriers or facilitators to reduce energy consumption?
  • Are users’ intentions to reduce energy consumption predictable?
  • Can energy consumers be grouped according to a range of psychosocial factors that modulate energy-saving behaviour?

The results allowed building a theoretical model, where specific intentions to reduce heating-related consumption and more general intentions towards energy-saving were differentiated, identifying targeted interventions, primarily of the nudging type, that could leverage those determinants and achieve behavioural change and define 6 profiles of energy consumers, with distinct characteristics that facilitate the selection of (nudging type) behavioural interventions for them.

The 6 profiles are:

  • Environmentally conscious and well-informed energy consumers,
  • Concerned but comfort-oriented energy consumers,
  • Concerned but lacking awareness energy consumers,
  • Materialistic energy consumers escaping personal responsibility,
  • Prone to social influence energy consumers, and
  • Indifferent energy consumers.

This report presents the human behaviour theories underpinning the survey, the underlying research hypotheses and the structure of the survey into five distinct modules collecting different information about the respondent (residence properties and energy efficiency, current energy-saving activities, psychosocial constructs, attitude against energy monitoring and control platforms, and socio-demographic information).

It includes statistical information about the survey respondents as well as the responses that were filtered out of the final dataset according to different criteria.

The report also provides descriptive statistics out of the survey responses such as housing characteristics and the users’ current energy-saving activities, looking also into regional differences across different European countries/regions. It presents the outcomes of the experimentation towards the segmentation of energy consumers, the clustering and the classification approach.