Energy Six Pack
Six weeks to change people’s energy use?
Project duration: September 2013 to June 2014
CSE is running a study into people’s energy saving behaviour and which sorts of interventions are good motivators for change.
Do weekly, interactive tips inspire behaviour change?
Funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, we are working in partnership with Ovo Energy to invite some of their customers to take part in the Energy Six Pack. It’s a six week programme, with a different theme each week, such as how to save energy on heating, cooking or lighting.
Participants receive a weekly email introducing the week's theme and directing them to a webpage which explains a number of suggested energy saving actions. They can then indicate which action/s they will try to do during the coming week by ticking some boxes. The webpages also show the participants which boxes other people have ticked. On the seventh week, the participants can feed back about which actions they really did take over the six weeks.
We are working with M.E.L. Research to follow up the programme with evaluation phone calls, asking the participants how useful they found the content and format.
We hope to find out whether receiving weekly energy saving tips in this way is effective in inspiring people to change their behaviour, and whether making a commitment to do something or seeing statistics about what other people are doing have motivating effects in this context, as they have been shown to do in other behaviour change research.
Is a quiz a good engagement tool?
Half of the customers who were invited to take part did not receive a direct invitation to sign up for the Energy Six Pack, but instead were invited to take a quiz called ‘What sort of energy user are you?’ At the end of the quiz, they were given one of four results depending on how thrifty or extravagant they reported themselves as being with their energy use, and they were then invited to sign up for the Energy Six Pack programme. This part of the study will help to find out whether an online quiz is a good way of catching people’s attention and engaging them with their energy use, assuming that if they feel engaged they are more likely to go on to sign up for the six week programme.
The Energy Six Pack is part of our ongoing work to empower people to change the way they think and act about energy.