Energy behaviour framework study: A method for assessing and improving the status of the energy culture in industrial companies

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Abstract

There have been a great number of research papers on changing energy consumption in domestic and residential context (see Littleford et al., 2014; Bird & Legault, 2018) However, workplaces and especially industry settings have gained less attention in research and scientific literature. This paper introduces an energy behavior framework study that estimates the state of company’s energy culture from different perspectives. The approach is particularly developed for energy managers in the industry sector for energy performance monitoring and improving. Our method to assess the energy culture in the industry sector includes an online took developed with the expert knowledge of 27 participants from various industry enterprises located in Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Germany France and Austria. The developed energy behaviour framework focuses on five pillars: 1. Awareness of technologies, 2. Specific cultural aspects, 3. Current energy practices in the company, 4. External factors, and 5. Effect and perception of barriers mapped. This allowed to pinpoint perceived challenges of current energy culture in the company and suggests next steps for improvement. We also developed a method to evaluate the framework and assess the maturity of each pillar, which further allowed to determine the relavant actions (recommendations) to either maintain or improve the maturity of the pillar. Energy behaviours are largely complex and shaped by many factors including context (Stephenson, 2010). Energy behaviour is a key term to interdisciplinary concept of energy cultures. The behaviour in itself is affected by various factors such as values, beliefs, knowledge, societal and cultural values, the regulatory and policy environment, incentives and many others. The energy behaviour is not limited to individual behaviour only, it is related to broader scales – how families, institutions or companies behave at large Littleford et al. 2014). The behaviour of an individual is not necessarily the same in different context such as at work and at home so the knowledge from one energy behaviour context cannot be transferred from one context to another. Energy culture is a conceptual framework that according to Stephenson et al (2010) “…aims in understanding the factors that influence energy consumption behavior, and to help identify opportunities for behavior change.” As there has been a number of research conducted on energy behaviour and behaviour change in residential contexts but there is less research in work context such offices and retail and in fact very few in industrial contexts, our work aims to fill out this gap by introducing a method to study energy behaviour framework in industrial context. Our analysis highlights the need to consider diverse aspects to create a successful method for enhancing energy culture in industrial sector. Domestic and residential context differ considerably from industrial energy cultures contexts and knowledge from one context cannot be transferred to another context as such (Littleford et al.2014). Based on investigated studies undertaken for residential, office and other sectors and lesson learnt, we developed a survey tool for energy managers to allow assessing and improving the status of the energy culture in industrial sector. Keywords: energy culture, energy behaviour, energy efficiency, industry
Original languageEnglish
Pages1
Number of pages1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 2020
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventWorld Sustainable Energy Days - Wels, Austria
Duration: 4 Mar 20206 Mar 2020

Conference

ConferenceWorld Sustainable Energy Days
CountryAustria
CityWels
Period4/03/206/03/20

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Keywords

  • energy culture
  • energy behaviour
  • energy efficiency
  • industry

Cite this

Oksman, V., Reda, F., Karjalainen, S., & Fatima, Z. (Accepted/In press). Energy behaviour framework study: A method for assessing and improving the status of the energy culture in industrial companies. 1. Poster session presented at World Sustainable Energy Days, Wels, Austria.