Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ENERGISE (European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy)
Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2019-11-30
The ENERGISE project makes an important contribution to understanding what role households can play in transformations towards using energy more sustainably in domestic spaces. ENERGISE develops a Living Labs approach to directly observe existing practices related to energy consumption in a real-world setting and to test both household and community-level initiatives to reduce energy use. Data collection before, during and after the implementation of 16 Living Labs in 8 partner countries is instrumental in contributing to the design and assessment of future energy consumption initiatives across Europe.
To provide policymakers, practitioners, businesses, academics, communities and householders with social science led recommendations for policy and practice, ENERGISE pursues five key objectives:
1. Move beyond state-of-the-art sustainable consumption research by developing an innovative theoretical framework that fuses social practice and energy cultures approaches
2. Assess and compare the impact of European energy consumption reduction initiatives
3. Significantly advance the use of Living Lab techniques for researching and transforming energy consumption practices
4. Produce new research-led insights into the role of routines and ruptures in shifting energy use towards greater sustainability
5. Enhance multi-way engagement with stakeholders and effectively transfer ENERGISE outputs to further the implementation of the Energy Union
ENERGISE provides recommendations formulated for various stakeholders, including lessons learned for EU and national policy for deploying and/or upscaling ENERGISE Living Labs (ELLs) as well as researchers and practitioners for planning and implementing sustainable lifestyle projects. The findings of the project have been disseminated to a variety of stakeholders. Engagement with the scientific community has been conducted through discussion with other researchers about the project, conference presentations, workshops and clustering events, peer-reviewed publications, via social media, the ENERGISE newsletters and other targeted newsletters. ENERGISE has engaged with industry through ENERGISE newsletters and via the Expert Panel members’ networks, and with policy-makers through newsletters, online database dissemination, personal engagement with local policy makers, invited presentations and participation in workshops. ENERGISE engages with civil society, the media and the general public via press release distribution, specific Listservs, organised meetings, ENERGISE newsletters, flyers, ELL participation and dissemination, ELL implementing partners, social media and website visits.
Socio-economic impacts of the project include:
• Improved understanding of a range of factors impacting on household energy practices.
• Enhanced understanding of reductions in energy use through individual-level and community-based interventions and their connections with wider energy cultures.
• Contribution to knowledge of what kinds of energy initiatives ‘work’, where, with what degree of success, and why.
• Improved exploitation of social-scientific evidence to address challenges to energy transition related to social acceptability.
Reflecting on what impact the ENERGISE project and findings might have for the European Union and specifically the EU’s Energy Union Strategy, the project:
• Identifies and demonstrates that individual and collective practices and approaches can reduce dependency on imported energy and diversify supply.
• Informs policy-making on the role, relative significance and interactions of technological, market, socio-economic, gender and behavioural factors conducive to, or inhibitive of, such practices and approaches.
• Identifies policy implications and options at national and EU levels that will foster amplification of such practices and approaches.
• Identifies and exhibits individual and collective practices and approaches that reduce dependency on high-carbon energy sources, including an examination of social acceptability issues, which can delay or prevent decarbonisation.