Anna Celeste Watson says:
Is this your brain?! The psychological barriers to engaging with energy use

Category: Renewable Energy
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Image from the Green Alliance Report



The Green Alliance recently announced a new report Neither sermons nor silence: the case for national communications on energy which shows why the government’s current plan to rely on multiple, dispersed communications for energy schemes are unlikely to secure the take up and interest needed, putting the policies at risk of failure.

The report looks at lessons from other high profile campaigns like the recent digital switchover and Change4Life. They clearly show the importance of a government-backed, national level brand and communications strategy to support policy delivery. Public take up of government energy schemes has been relatively low up until now, even when measures are heavily subsidised or even free. Overcoming this requires communications to build a strong brand which will enable trusted messengers to communicate and have the power to change social norms. As we head into the roll-out of a number of new schemes, they set out a clear case for getting the communications right if they are to be a success.

To put it simply – members of the public like you and me just aren’t investing in renewable energy or in becoming more energy efficient, even though we know that it is critical to sustain our planet, but we just don’t want to accept that we have a part to play, or believe that our individual or household actions can actually make a difference, or we think we simply can’t afford it. ( ‘Salience’ in the diagram apparently means ‘Importance/Priority’ but I had to look that up!).

I couldn’t help but be drawn straight to the diagram above from the report (cutting out all the blurb!) and I thought I should share it with you so you can see if you identify with it, and to hear your thoughts on how Dorset Energized can help you overcome some of these perceived ‘barriers’ to engaging with energy.

Check out the Green Alliance Blog for more details on http://greenallianceblog.org.uk/2012/05/18/government-needs-a-national-communications-plan-for-energy-efficiency/ and more importantly please let us know your comments and ideas on how we can help get Dorset Energized!

2Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "The case for Nuclear is far from understood and yet it is being thrust fast forward under the radar by our politicians.
    The latest facts to emerge are that we will have to subsidise the French Energy Companies to build our new plants at very high costs to the consumer long-term.
    The Germans have pulled out and renewable energy will suffer from lack of investment.
    So the real debate is do we really want Nuclear,costly in both money and environmental terms or like the Germans,Danes and many others focus real effort,investment and attention on renewable.
    What do the majority of people want now and for the future generations who come after us ? I leave you to judge and make up your own minds. "

    June 11, 2012 a 9:47 am

  • vince adams comments:
    "This is an amazing report and so true of us all.
    How can we publicise the report so that we all read, admit its true and then do something about it. What I hope is that Dorsetenergized can help you to do something about it with simple steps forward. Just by reading this blog, subscribing to the campaign you become better informed for the moment when you can speak up for RE, get involved personally etc "

    June 11, 2012 a 9:37 am

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