Closing the Loop in Demand-Side Management
SURF is an invited member of Task XXIV under the DSM Implementing Agreement of the International Energy Agency (IEA). The task, which is under the operation and coordination of the New Zealand Energy Research Institute (NERI) and Ruth Mourik Consulting (RMC) in the Netherlands, aims to ‘close the loop’ between behaviour change research theory, successful policy implementation and positive outcomes for the energy user from demand-side management (DSM) projects. The focus of the task is to bring together demand-side energy researchers, policymakers and implementers from a range of countries to address the challenge of integrating behavioural change theory with effective, long-term, and measurable behavioural change. Doing this requires bringing these interests together through the use of multiple methods that include: best practice reviews and case studies, multi-actor workshops and the development of a framework for how best to fund, implement and measure behavioural change programmes in variety of cultural and geographical contexts. The task operates on the basis of an international platform that will design the framework with policymakers, funders, researchers and other relevant stakeholders to:
1. Interact, learn about and build up a common interdisciplinary and international knowledge base.
2. Base funding and design decisions on sound, widely-accepted, state of the art behavioural change models, theory and best practice.
3. Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of any DSM project or programme with a clearer understanding of end user needs and desired outcomes/impacts.
4. Make better decisions about designing and funding DSM research and projects/programmes, due to greater understanding of different contexts and their own role and position.
The platform consists of energy demand experts from the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Italy, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Greece, Australia, New Zealand, USA, France, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. The task, which initially runs for 24 months from the beginning of 2012, builds upon SURF’s long standing work on the relationships between energy production, use and behavioural change and how this relates to wider processes of urban transition to low carbon and sustainable futures.