Technology Collaboration Programme

Task 24 Phase 2: Behaviour Change in DSM – Helping the Behaviour Changers

Task 24 Phase 2: Behaviour Change in DSM – Helping the Behaviour Changers


Phase II of Task 24 takes the theory into practice. Building on the solid theoretical foundations of Phase I, we now look at the:

  • What?
  • Who?
  • How?
  • Why? and
  • So What?

We use a Collective Impact Approach methodology and storytelling as the overarching language and bring together Behaviour Changers from all sectors (industry, government, research, middle actors and the third sector) with the end users whose behaviour they are ultimately trying to change.


The results from Task 24 (both the theoretical analysis of case studies and in-depth communication and surveys with our many experts) led us to conclude that the reason why energy efficiency is still ‘the greatest market failure of our time’ is because most current approaches are still based on a rather technocratic understanding of energy end user behaviour – with technology, market forces or energy supply dictating interventions geared at behaviour change. We have made a start with presenting this conclusion using storytelling in its many forms. Responses so far were very positive as our stories enabled people (e.g. policymakers) with no background in behavioural sciences to understand how different social science approaches towards behaviour change will have different outcomes.

There are now two things that we need to take a step further:
• We need to elaborate our empiricial knowledge base (elaborate on what, who, why, how?)
• We need to strengthen and support the community of experts into co-creating improved interventions, using storytelling and a collective impact approach as process tools to overcome language barriers, inherent systemic barriers and silos.


We pose that a better understanding of the human aspect of energy use, including behavioural and societal drivers and barriers and external and internal contexts, will greatly improve the uptake of energy efficiency and DSM policies and programmes. This is not at all to say that technology, market and business models and energy supply are not hugely important aspects of the Energy System. Instead, we pose that the Energy System begins and ends with the human need for the services derived from energy (warmth, comfort, entertainment, mobility, hygiene, safety etc) and that behavioural interventions using technology, market and business models and changes to supply and delivery of energy are the all-important means to that end.

We have created a different ‘model of understanding’ (based on work from Task 24 to date) of the energy system and its actors that offers a pragmatic approach for how we propose to further improve the co-creation of knowledge, learning, sharing and translation into practice among practitioners in the energy field.

The way the Energy System is currently established (see Figure 1), does not easily permit such a whole-system view which puts human needs, behaviours and (ir)rationalities at the center of interventions geared at system change.

Instead, if we look at the Energy System through the human lens (see video below), we can see that it isn’t necessarily this top-down/left-right linear relationship starting with supply and ending with the end user, but rather a circular relationship which actually starts with the end user need for an energy service (watch below for a short presentation explaining this in more detail).


The Behaviour Changer Framework

In order to visualise the Energy System through the ‘human’, instead of the technocratic lens, we have created a so-called Behaviour Changer Framework (BCF) for Phase II (watch below a short presentation on it).

This Framework is meant to achieve several functions:

  • It is a collective impact tool (the process comes before the outcome)
  • It helps visualise the energy system through the human lens
  • It is a backcasting tool as it helps us imagine best practice (in the real world – our common goal) and describe the current status and what is needed in order to achieve best practice
  • It is a tool to help different stakeholders (Behaviour Changers) to think about the best possible scenario(ie one that is possible under the current system) and then collectively work on solving problems and co-create the right intervention to change this specific behaviour from current status to best practice
  • It also helps to evaluate and measure the path towards the best practice (via the specific intervention that was chosen, and the specific indices to measure success for each Behaviour Changer) and helps us re-iterate the intervention, where necessary
  • It helps identify multiple benefits and how to measure them
  • It helps us appreciate each others’ world, the lock-ins, restrictions, relationships both good and bad which the system throws up and which are often outside of our direct influence.

The Collective Impact Approach

In addition, we will use a Collective Impact Approach to facilitate the workshops with the different Behaviour Changers, providing the neutral, trusted and respected backbone support necessary to ensure open engagement.


Storytelling will continue to be our overarching language and method of ‘translation’ between different sectors and disciplinary jargon. We will continue to explore the power of storytelling in its many forms, as outlined in our 2015 eceee summer study paper. Task 24 is also co-editing a Special Issue in Energy Research and Social Sciences called ‘Storytelling and narratives in energy and climate change research’. We have received over 50 abstracts from Behaviour Changers all over the world for this publication showing the huge interest on this topic. Task 24 will also be published in this issue, discussing the usefulness of a simple story spine. We have also created an ‘A-Z of storytelling’ report which will be published soon.


The main objective of this Task is to take good theory into practice to allow Behaviour Changers (from government, industry, intermediaries, research and the third sector) to:

  • Engage in an international expert network (‘THE EXPERTS’)
  • Develop the top 3 DSM priorities to identify the most (politically, technologically, economically and societally) appropriate DSM themes to focus on (‘THE ISSUES’)
  • Identify and engage countries’ networks in the 5 Behaviour Changers sectors for at least one of the top 3 DSM themes to co-create their Behaviour Changer Framework to collectively work on this problem (‘THE PEOPLE’)
  • Use and test a Collective Impact Approach to develop shared methodologies, guidelines and a common ‘language’ based on narratives to aid Behaviour Changers’ decisionmaking of how to choose the best models of understanding behaviour and theories of change and how to best measure the many multiple benefits of energy efficiency and DSM (‘THE TOOLS’)
  • Standardise how to evaluate behaviour change programmes ‘Beyond kWh’ and ‘Beyond Energy’ including multiple benefits analysis (‘THE MEASURE’)
  • Collate national learnings into an overarching (international) story to understand, compare and contrast the different behaviour change approaches, risks and opportunities and which recommendations can be universally applied (‘THE STORY’)

Benefits for Participants

Phase II of Task 24 has very direct benefits to participating (funding) countries and we are still open for interested countries to participate (contact for details). Experts from participating countries will have:

Opportunities for Global Networking and Collaboration

  • Become part of the invite-only International Expert Platform (>230 experts and counting) with Behaviour Changers from all sectors (Industry, Government, Research, Intermediaries and the Third Sector). This includes gaining better connections to the all-important middle actors (Intermediaries) who have direct access to energy end users;
  • Bring their own DSM issues to the table and collaborate with engaged Behaviour Changers from all sectors who are working on these specific issues;
  • Gain improved political buy-in for their countries’ policy development, through coordination with the IEA Secretariat and other international bodies interested in the Task (eg G20, Horizon 2020, eceee, BECC…);
  • Gain access to, and participate in the IEA DSM University including developing and disseminating their case studies and country findings in promoted webinars.

Access to Cutting-Edge Tools and Resources

  • Gain improved knowledge and understanding on  what different models and theories of behaviour change are available and when and how to best use them in practice;
  • Learn from and share, directly and via the Task 24 network, best practice case studies and stories;
  • Gain great, practical examples of how to use storytelling in policy and practice;
  • Get in-depth help with specific interventions, including the development and evaluation of field research pilots and demonstrations;
  • Take part in showcasing and testing the feasibility and effectiveness of the Collective Impact Approach in practice;
  • Inform, test and receive tools to monitor, evaluate and prove ongoing success of behaviour change outcomes ‘beyond kWh’ (includes a psychometrically-validated data collection tool, co-funded by US utilities to the tune of almost $100,000), and  how to monitor impacts ‘beyond energy’ (ie multiple benefit analysis, includes contributing to another IEA Task).

Co-creation and Promotion of New Solutions to Old Problems

  • Be part of global dissemination, promotion and publicity activities for Task 24 and their own organisations/countries;
  • Be invited to collaborate on joint publications on behaviour change in DSM including, but not limited to: in a special edition in a peer-reviewed journal and/or an IEA publication and an international Task 24 conference;
  • Re-frame the big issues together, like how better understand and engage the ‘human’ aspect of the energy system and how to overcome inherent systemic restrictions and conflicts, nationally and internationally;
  • Be part of co-creating the Behaviour Changer Framework, using a Collective Impact Approach and Storytelling as overarching methodologies;
  • Reduce duplication by learning from real-life field research so we can move from individualistic, programme-level approaches to collaborations aimed at the common goal of achieving systemic, societal changes with collective end-user participation at its core.


The Logical Progression of Subtasks

Like Phase I, which followed the logical order of behaviour change intervention phases (Design – Implementation – Evaluation – (Re)Iteration – Dissemination), Phase II also follows a logical order:

  • SUBTASK 0 (Task Administration) and SUBTASK 5 (The Experts) will continue throughout Phase II
  • SUBTASK 6 (The Issues) will concentrate firmly on the WHAT? – building on work from ST 2 and 4 it will look at current lists of top DSM issues in each country; chose 3 to investigate in more depth; and one end user sector and specific behaviour to concentrate on in ST7
  • SUBTASK 7 (The People) will identify the WHO? – the most appropriate Behaviour Changers who need to collaborate, using the Behaviour Changer Framework and a Collective Impact Approach, on solving the issue identified in ST6
  • SUBTASK 8 (The Tools) will look at the HOW? – creating a practical toolbox of interventions including the many different methods and results identified and developed in Task 24, including practical tools of how to conduct a multiple benefit analysis using double-loop learning
  • SUBTASK 9 (The Measure) – the WHY? – will create an psychometrically-validated standard tool of how to collect behavioural data to identify impact and success of a behavioural intervention – ‘beyond kWh’
  • SUBTASK 10 (The Story) will look at the SO WHAT? – or what the global learnings and recommendations are from this Phase, and which are unique to their individual domains, behaviours and country contexts.



Financially-participating countries:
Austria, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, USA

Other Task 24 Contributors (non-state actors):

See Change
Subtask 9 – Beyond kWh tool (Project Partners)
Experts: Drs Beth Karlin, Daniel Chapman, Cindy Frantz and Rebecca Ford

Atrium Health
Subtask 11 – Real-Life Case Studies (co-financed)
Expert: Kady Cowan

Subtask 11 – Real-Life Case Studies (not financed)
Expert: Dr Reuven Sussman

Subtask 11 – Real-Life Case Studies (not financed)
Expert: Ed Rubinstein

Subtask 11 – Real-Life Case Studies (not financed)
Expert: David Bligh


AustriaNational ExpertTeresa
IrelandNational ExpertJosephine
NetherlandsNational ExpertRuth
New ZealandNational ExpertSea
SwedenNational ExpertSandra
SwedenNational ExpertMehmet
SwedenExternal ExpertKaty
USANational ExpertKira
Other Task 24 Contributors (non-state actors)
See ChangeContributorBether Karlin
Daniel Chapman
Cindy Frantz
Rebecca Ford
Atrium HealthContributorKady Cowan
American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)ContributorReuven Sussman
UHNContributorEd Rubinstein
EfficiencyOneContributorDavid Bligh


This is where the Task 24 Phase II publications reside, starting with the most important one: the Work Plan.

A new concept proposal for a “People-Focused Work Stream”: How to ‘do’ behaviour change from A to Z (ExCo only)

Subtask publications (not highlighted are reports for National Expert use only or yet-unpublished reports):

Subtask 6 & 7 – Final Report Austria
Final Report to Funding Agency in Austria [in German]
Subtask 6&7 – Final Report The Netherlands: Executive Summary plus Annexes
Subtask 6&7 – Case Study Analysis – ICT Use in Higher Education – The Netherlands
Subtask 6&7 – Final Report Sweden
Subtask 6&7 -Background for Green Leases in Commercial Office Buildings – Sweden
Subtask 6&7 – Collaboration and Green Leasing: A case study of the Swedish Energy Agency’s new office building in Eskilstuna
Subtask 6&7 – Final Report New Zealand
Subtask 6&7 – Case Study Analysis – Home Energy Audit Tool (HEAT) kits in New Zealand
Subtask 6&7 – Final Report Ireland
Subtask 6&7 – Cross-Country Case Study Comparison Ireland – Home Energy Saving Kit Library Programmes
Subtask 6&7 – Cross-Country Case Study Comparison Ireland – Database of Energy Saving Kit Programmes
Subtask 6&7 – Final Report USA
Subtask 8 – The A to Z of Storytelling in Task 24
Subtask 8 – Template for Focus Groups in Task 24
Subtask 8 – Case Study Templates in Task 24
Subtask 8 – Decision-making Tree for Subtask 1 “Monster” case study analysis
Subtask 8 – Toolbox for Behaviour Changers
Subtask 9 – Dimensions of Energy Behavior: Psychometric Testing of Scales for Evaluating Behavioral Interventions in Demand Side Management Programs
Subtask 9 –  Evaluation Report for Home Energy Saving Kits: Using Bayesian Modelling to test the “beyond kWh” toolkit in Ireland
Subtask 10 – Policy Brief Austria
Subtask 10 – Policy Brief the Netherlands
Subtask 10 – Policy Brief Ireland
Subtask 10 – Policy Brief Sweden
Subtask 10 – Policy Brief New Zealand
Subtask 10 – Policy Brief USA
Subtask 10 – The overarching story of Task 24
Subtask 11 – CHS case study: Designing a successful behaviour change programme for hospital building staff

Peer-reviewed publications:

Subtask 6 – K. Janda, S. Rotmann, M. Bulut and S. Lennander (2017), Advances in green leases and green leasing: Evidence from Sweden, Australia, and the UK, ECEEE Summer Study Proceedings, Hyéres, France.

Subtask 6 – S. Rotmann and D. Chapman (2018). ENERGY SAVING KITS – EDUCATING AND EMPOWERING END USERS? A Cross-Country Case Study Comparison. BEHAVE conference 2018, Zürich, Switzerland.

Subtask 6 – S. Rotmann and K. Ashby (2019). Gained in Translation: Evaluation Approaches for Behavioural Energy Efficiency Programmes in the US and Canada. ECEEE Summer Study, 2019.

Subtask 6 – M. Bulut, S. Rotmann and K. Janda (2019). Green Leasing in Commercial Office Buildings in Sweden. ECEEE Summer Study, 2019.

Subtask 8 – S. Rotmann (2016a), How to Create a ‘Magic Carpet’ for Behaviour Change‘, ACEEE Summer Study Proceedings, Monterey, USA.

Subtask 8 – S. Rotmann (2016b), How to Create a ‘Magic Carpet’ for Behaviour Changers, BEHAVE Conference, Coimbra, Portugal.

Subtask 8 – S. Rotmann (2017a), “Once upon a time…” Eliciting energy and behaviour change stories using a fairy tale story spine, Energy Research and Social Science, Special Issue 31 on Narratives and Storytelling in Energy and Climate Change Research.

Subtask 8 – S. Rotmann (2017b), Task 24: Co-creating behaviour change insights with Behaviour Changers from around the world, ECEEE Summer Study Proceedings, Hyéres, France.

Subtask 8 – Special Issue on “Narratives and Storytelling in Energy and Climate Change Research”, ERSS Volume 31, September 2017.

Subtask 8 – M. Moezzi, K. Janda and S. Rotmann (2017), Using stories, narratives, and storytelling in energy and climate change research, Energy Research and Social Science, Special Issue on Storytelling in Energy and Climate Change Research.

Subtask 9 – B. Karlin, R. Ford and C. McPhearson Frantz (2015), Exploring Deep Savings: A Toolkit for Assessing Behavior-Based Energy Interventions, IEPEC Conference, Long Beach, USA.

Subtask 9 – B. Karlin, R. Ford and C. McPhearson Frantz (2016),  Evaluating Energy Culture: Identifying and validating measures for behaviour-based energy interventions, IEPEC Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Subtask 9 – S. Rotmann and D. Chapman 2018). Evaluating Energy Saving Kit Impacts – Are they educating and empowering end users to change behaviors? A Cross-Country Case Study Comparison. BECC Conference, Washington D.C., October 2018.

Subtask 11 – K. Cowan, R. Sussman, S. Rotmann and E. Mazzi (2018). It’s Not my Job: Changing Behavior and Culture in a Healthcare Setting to Save Energy. ACEEE Summer Study Monterey, US.

Workshop Minutes:

Subtask 6 and 7 – ECEEE Summer Study Task 24 workshop minutes (2015 and 2017)
Subtask 6 and 7 – BECC conference Task 24 workshop minutes (2015)
Subtask 6 and 7 – BEHAVE conference Task 24 workshop minutes (2016 and 2018)

Articles, blogs, Spotlight etc:

Task 24 – Phase II Flyer
Task 24 Policy Brief
Spotlight September 2015 – Task 24: Helping the Behaviour Changers
Spotlight December 2015: New Publication – Task 24 Subtask 2: The ‘Energy Hunt’ in Austria
Spotlight June 2016 – Task 24 and Annex 66: A beautiful collaboration is emerging
Spotlight March 2017 – Task 24: Creating ‘Magic’ with non-state actors
Spotlight June 2017 – Dr Sea Rotmann: DSM Day in Dublin – Behavioural insights on energy efficiency in the residential sector
Spotlight September 2017 – HOT OF THE PRESS: A new publication on storytelling
University Health Network (UHN) Toronto: Talkin’ Trash with UHN
Energy News – Energy Projects need to center on End Users
Energy in Demand – IEA DSM collaboration programme’s Task 24 Gets Published in Special Issue on ‘Storytelling and Narratives in Energy and Climate Change Research’
eceee News – Special issue of the ERSS journal discusses narratives and storytelling, as a supplement to traditional scientific methods
IEA Expert Group on Research and Development (EGRD), 2018. Towards a consumer-driven energy system.
Spotlight June 2018 – Task 24 insights on Energy Saving Kit Programmes
Spotlight September 2018 – Task 24’s latest participants: the US and Canada via the Consortium for Energy Efficiency
Task 24 – Final Flyer

IEA DSM News Blog

April 26, 2016: Task 24 is co-editing a Special Edition on Storytelling

Dec 21, 2017: New IEA DSM Task 24 report and webinar: How to co-design a successful hospital behaviour change programme

June 15, 2018: Task 24 releases cross-country case study comparison on Energy Saving Kit Programmes