Thursday, 17 January 2013
Thanks for you interest,
Monday, 26 March 2012
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
· Current policy challenges including the price of energy (i.e. low-carbon energy is currently more expensive than high-carbon energy); energy efficiency in buildings (measuring building performance, building industry skills, building valuation and motivating/ regulating
household reduction/ consumption); and incentivising investment (via the electricity market reform, Green Deal loans and Green Investment Bank).
· GLA’s policy is that London is moving towards district heating! GLA has already produced a series of ‘heat maps (see http://www.londonheatmap.co.uk/) and is drawing up at the moment an ‘Energy Master Plan’.
· ‘Lessons’ from other countries show us that the UK needs to move towards more ‘collective thinking’ which is, however, deeply counter cultural in this country; and de-risking legislation for the energy market
· Who should design energy systems and energy policy? Economists and engineers, alongside policy makers, not only policy makers as done over the last 10 years!
· For the scale of envisaged change to happen we need to built a ‘community of practice’, continuous and coherent policy support, and include economics and engineer ‘literates’ in policy processes.
This was an interesting discussion, loaded with economic and technical stuff! However, the role that institutions and people might play in this transition has been little touched upon!
Catalina Turcu, UCL
21 March 2012
Friday, 16 March 2012
Friday, 9 March 2012
- the importance of a sound business case for community energy
- the need to invest in skills and capacity building as well as technology
- the potential dangers in the grant system of a) over-reliance on subsidies and b) inherent bias as past winners of grants succeed time and again, and
- the need to recognise equity issues in making any grants.
The aim has to be to create a self-sustaining community energy sector, which is currently proving difficult. The complexity of the policy landscape does not help and some suggested that the community sector was treated rather patronisingly, rather than recognising the way that - collectively - it is a major player in the energy field. In the managed market for energy, a separate Community Feed in Tariff would be a good way forward, establishing the basis for community enterprises to scale up and function as businesses. Normalisation of community energy should be the ambition which many argued was within reach.
Wednesday, 1 February 2012
sciences can be used to understand and change individual behaviour, which in turn can help meet current policy challenges, such as how to reduce crime, tackle obesity and ensure environmental sustainability. With that in mind, he sets out nine of the most robust (non-coercive) influences on human behaviour, captured in a simple mnemonic – MINDSPACE – which can be used as a quick checklist when making policy. These are:
- Messenger - we are heavily influenced by who communicates information
- Incentives - our responses to incentives are shaped by predictable mental shortcuts such as strongly avoiding losses
- Norms - we are strongly influenced by what others do
- Defaults - we „go with the flow‟ of pre-set options
- Salience - our attention is drawn to what is novel and seems relevant to us
- Priming - our acts are often influenced by sub-conscious cues
- Affect - our emotional associations can powerfully shape our actions
- Commitments - we seek to be consistent with our public promises, and reciprocate acts
- Ego - we act in ways that make us feel better about ourselves
He is working at the moment on one energy related project: “The use of online social norms in
influencing energy consumption: testing whether online information can change behaviour”. The project is an experiment on social tenants in Camden which sends out individual letters that ‘expose’ where the household’s energy consumption lies in comparison to its neighbours. The research found that the households receiving personalised letters have significantly reduced their
energy consumption (by 2%) when compared to the control group (exposed to traditional
campaigning for energy consumption reduction).
However, the research also finds that the ‘letter effect’ seems to wear off in time. Thus, one-off or
short-term changes in behaviour do not seem to trigger longer term changes in lifestyles. …and this is certainly supported by some of the evidence emerging from the CLUES case studies.