Insights from psychology about the design and implementation of energy interventions using the Behaviour Change Wheel

Caroline Wilson, Melissa R. Marselle

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    29 Citations (Scopus)
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    Improving the design and implementation of interventions to encourage end-use energy efficiency has the potential to contribute a substantive reduction in carbon emissions. A plethora of behaviour change frameworks is available to guide policymakers and designers but none have been found to be comprehensive or well-used. A new framework – the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW) – purports to be a useful aid for developing all types of behaviour change interventions. This paper assesses whether the BCW comprehensively describes programmes attempting to reduce energy consumption. To do this, components of behaviour change programmes as identified in four EU guidance documents were mapped onto the BCW. Most of the components discussed in the guidance could be readily coded to the BCW framework. The main energy policy under-represented in the BCW was energy price. Based on our work in this paper, we believe that the BCW offers a useful aid for the systematic design and development of behaviour change around end-use energy efficiency. We also propose that it may support development of a common lexicon for activities that can be rather vaguely described currently in energy efficiency guidance.

    NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Energy Research and Social Science. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Energy Research and Social Science, [19, (2016)] DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2016.06.015

    © 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)177-191
    Number of pages15
    JournalEnergy Research & Social Science
    Early online date4 Jul 2016
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


    • Energy
    • Consumption
    • Behaviour
    • Intervention
    • Policy


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