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).