9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN05 Sociology of Consumption

2009-09-03 13:30:00 2009-09-03 15:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 13:30 - 15:00 Conditions of Sustainable Consumption Building II, C5.02

Stakeholders´ perception of consumers´ barriers to energy saving

The main objevtive of the paper is to develop methods to identify the relevance and strengths of various barriers for change in the energy behaviour of end consumers and households. Based upon state of the art, we have identified the following barriers: physical and structural, political, cultural-normative/social, economic, knowledge based and individual-psychological.

Further the project will discuss how activities from different stakeholders can overcome such barriers.

In this paper the results of interviews with strategic stakeholders in Norway will be presented.
We carried out 9 stakeholder interviews: Five in the area of energy in houses, three in mobility and one for purchase of household appliances. In the interviews the stakeholders were first asked about what barriers they saw for change in the energy behaviour, the reasons behind these barriers, who was involved and if their peers would agree on their suggestions. Further we presented our own suggestion for barriers, and we asked the stakeholders to reflect on these, and rank them in order of importance. Finally we asked for attempts to overcome barriers in the past, and how they could be overcome in the future.

We will here be reporting from an ongoing European project, BARENERGY, coordinated by SIFO. An integral part of the project is to combine institutional and individual approaches. This is important as the behaviour of consumers do take place within a context and framework created by businesses and political authorities. This paper will take this into account and analyse the interviews with respect to how the stakeholders view both the consumers and the barriers they face, and how this can be understood in such combined approach.