Enriching understanding of climate and energy related behaviours

(DECC Energy Behaviour Fellowship follow on fund)

Project details

Funding bodies: ESRC and RCUK Energy Programme


  • Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
  • Department for Environmental
  • Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
  • Department for Transport (DfT)
  • Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)

Project summary

The concept of 'behaviour change' is currently being promoted across a range of government policy areas as a 'light-touch' alternative to regulation. There is currently a high profile for approaches that are aimed at 'nudging' behaviours, however this approach is just one of a range of possible ways of interpreting behaviour. Not all behaviours are alike, and to develop effective policies it is useful to have range of possible approaches to choose from. For the non-expert though, understanding potential complementarities or conflicts between different approaches can pose a significant barrier to employing new strategies or to using a variety of methods.

The project provided support to a range of stakeholders involved in policies around public behaviours in relation to energy usage and climate change. Following on a successful 12-month Fellowship in DECC, the project allowed Dr Tim Chatterton to build on the work and relationships already established in the Fellowship, in order to improve understanding with regard to:

  • public behaviours and social practices
  • cross-departmental challenges in relation to climate change policies.

The project has support from the four government departments most closely identified with climate and energy related behaviours (DECC, Defra, DfT and DCLG).

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