D15: Customer (Social) Research, Public Report
Deliverable 15, part of Work Package 1.
The essence of this is to uncover messaging and mechanisms that may work for normal busy human beings, to engage them and to help the savings persist.
The overall aim of the Haas Lite project is to find ways to make heating more efficient (in carbon and cost terms) and more pleasant for users. It aims to find schemes that will engage users in the first place (eg the large portion of the population that have never switched energy suppliers despite the ease and immediate savings for most in doing so, or short-term tenants that the Green Deal was meant to help but was too heavyweight for), and that will keep them engaged overcoming the apathy that normally bedevils measures which are not purely technical. These schemes have to be profitable, and not fall victim to Jevons' paradox.
Apathy, Nudges, Gamification
The ulterior motive of HaaS Lite is to save the planet, by reducing climate change, by reducing carbon emissions, from domestic space heating in this case.
While this 'green' message is actually toxic to a significant group of people who see it as attack on personal freedoms typically, a decent and more universally-acceptable proxy, at least inthe UK, is money saving which is reasonably correlated with carbon emission saving.
However, even with something as simple as energy supplier switching which for most people would be a matter of minutes' work and with material savings, many people can't be bothered.
Ofgem claims that comparing and switching supplier or energy tariff can make a big difference to your gas and electricity bills – with annual savings of around £300 available, and at the end of 2015 GoCompare's research claimed that 2.5m (15% of) homeowners have NEVER switched energy supplier and are potentially missing out on collective savings of £728m.A Note On Project CHARM Conference 2013/02/27
Persistence of Savings