The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Promoting low carbon behaviours through personalised information? Long-term evaluation of a carbon calculator interview

Promoting low carbon behaviours through personalised information? Long-term evaluation of a carbon calculator interview
Promoting low carbon behaviours through personalised information? Long-term evaluation of a carbon calculator interview

The UK needs to accelerate action to achieve its 80 per cent carbon reduction target by 2050 as it is otherwise in danger of lagging behind. A much discussed question in this context is whether voluntary behaviour change initiatives can make a significant contribution to reaching this target. While providing individuals with general information on climate change or low carbon action is increasingly seen as ineffective, some studies argue that personalised information has greater potential to encourage behaviour change. This mixed methods study examines this claim through a longitudinal field experiment which tested the effectiveness of a carbon calculator interview. It finds that the intervention significantly raised awareness of ways in which participants could reduce their carbon footprint. However, this increased awareness did not translate into measurable behaviour changes in relation to home energy and travel. Qualitative analysis shows that participants refer to infrastructural, social and psychological barriers to change. This indicates that more ambitious government and corporate action is required to speed up carbon reduction.

Behaviour change, Energy reduction, Field experiment, Intervention, Personalised information, Sustainable cities
0301-4215
284-293
Büchs, Milena
c62b4fbd-660c-4642-876e-de9512db9a9c
Bahaj, Abu Bakr S.
b9ac91c2-3875-456a-b3bf-76cc33f9abe8
Blunden, Luke
c516a483-c83b-434d-9eee-f252f6ca8f2d
Bourikas, Leonidas
5faf69fc-1b5a-4613-ae9f-cd135092af9c
Falkingham, Jane
8df36615-1547-4a6d-ad55-aa9496e85519
James, Patrick
da0be14a-aa63-46a7-8646-a37f9a02a71b
Kamanda, Mamusu
454b746f-e6f0-4a72-a8ac-1b54754c0958
Wu, Yue
e279101b-b392-45c4-b894-187e2ded6a5c
Büchs, Milena
c62b4fbd-660c-4642-876e-de9512db9a9c
Bahaj, Abu Bakr S.
b9ac91c2-3875-456a-b3bf-76cc33f9abe8
Blunden, Luke
c516a483-c83b-434d-9eee-f252f6ca8f2d
Bourikas, Leonidas
5faf69fc-1b5a-4613-ae9f-cd135092af9c
Falkingham, Jane
8df36615-1547-4a6d-ad55-aa9496e85519
James, Patrick
da0be14a-aa63-46a7-8646-a37f9a02a71b
Kamanda, Mamusu
454b746f-e6f0-4a72-a8ac-1b54754c0958
Wu, Yue
e279101b-b392-45c4-b894-187e2ded6a5c

Büchs, Milena, Bahaj, Abu Bakr S., Blunden, Luke, Bourikas, Leonidas, Falkingham, Jane, James, Patrick, Kamanda, Mamusu and Wu, Yue (2018) Promoting low carbon behaviours through personalised information? Long-term evaluation of a carbon calculator interview. Energy Policy, 120, 284-293. (doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.05.030).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The UK needs to accelerate action to achieve its 80 per cent carbon reduction target by 2050 as it is otherwise in danger of lagging behind. A much discussed question in this context is whether voluntary behaviour change initiatives can make a significant contribution to reaching this target. While providing individuals with general information on climate change or low carbon action is increasingly seen as ineffective, some studies argue that personalised information has greater potential to encourage behaviour change. This mixed methods study examines this claim through a longitudinal field experiment which tested the effectiveness of a carbon calculator interview. It finds that the intervention significantly raised awareness of ways in which participants could reduce their carbon footprint. However, this increased awareness did not translate into measurable behaviour changes in relation to home energy and travel. Qualitative analysis shows that participants refer to infrastructural, social and psychological barriers to change. This indicates that more ambitious government and corporate action is required to speed up carbon reduction.

Text
1-s2.0-S0301421518303343-main - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (290kB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 11 May 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 26 May 2018
Published date: 1 September 2018
Keywords: Behaviour change, Energy reduction, Field experiment, Intervention, Personalised information, Sustainable cities

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421352
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421352
ISSN: 0301-4215
PURE UUID: 6ba80283-b659-409c-86b8-7389e5e58eea
ORCID for Leonidas Bourikas: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5289-2157
ORCID for Jane Falkingham: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7135-5875
ORCID for Patrick James: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2694-7054

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Jun 2018 16:30
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 02:00

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Milena Büchs
Author: Abu Bakr S. Bahaj
Author: Luke Blunden
Author: Leonidas Bourikas ORCID iD
Author: Jane Falkingham ORCID iD
Author: Patrick James ORCID iD
Author: Mamusu Kamanda
Author: Yue Wu

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×