Behavioural change is of central importance in bringing about significant reduction in energy end use. The energy efficiency potential of behavioural change in households equals the potential of investment in energy efficient appliances.

Climate change and concerns for security of supply make a reduction in energy end use of individual energy consumers all the more urgent. The number of programmes and projects addressing this potential is increasing, and they are making more and more use of new tools and innovative approaches.

There is much to learn from recent activities to change energy-related behaviour from local, national and international administrations. New ways are explored and those responsible for this type of policies and programmes share a need for applicable theoretical insights and regular exchange of practical experiences.

Against this background the European Network of National Energy Agencies (E n R) has established a Working Group to explore common issues and future cooperation in this area. This proposal is partly based on the Working Groups' activities.

Aim & Objectives

The general aim of BEHAVE is to enhance the performance of behavioural change efforts. The objectives are to making existing knowledge explicit and accessible for policy makers and programme-managers on international, national, regional and local levels.

Method of Action

The project comprises the following steps:

Development of a common framework for the comparison and evaluation of behavioural change programmes and projects, and definition of key factors for success;
Selection and evaluation of recent programmes and projects;
Development of recommendations and guidelines, including independent evaluation of these guidelines;
Dissemination of the results and training of policy makers and programme managers.

The project aims to explore as many interesting examples as possible and will deliver in-depth reviews of at least 40 cases, selected out of an inventory of a 100 examples. These cases will be examples of various types of programmes aiming to change energy-related behaviour in the household sector: educational programmes, mass medial campaigns, feedback, personal advice, community network approaches and innovative use of ICT tools; and data will be gathered in as many countries as possible..

The work structure of the programme is the result of this ambition to involve as many countries as possible: A project team that will take responsibility for the project; supported by a growing network of participants (see Letters of Intent) to provide input, review outcomes and contribute to dissemination.


The project is directed to make theoretical insights explicit and facilitate learning from experiences for international, national and local policy makers and programme managers. BEHAVE will contribute to the ‘body of knowledge' in the field of changing energy-related behaviour. This will lead to a better design and implementation of programmes and projects aimed at changing energy-related behaviour.

BEHAVE strives for a large EU coverage. The results of this project will also contribute to the knowledge on how cultural differences and similarities between inhabitants of Europe influence the design and effectiveness of behaviour change programmes.

This proposal applies to the SAVE HKA4 Monitoring & Evaluation

Total Cost 878.433, requested EU funding 439.216.

Project Fact Sheet

Project Presentation

1) (5-10% [ E. Braam, H. Hufen, K. Le Blansch & P. Rekkers (1997), De effecten van het energieverbruik van de bonus/malus systemen EVA en ADAM. Eindrapportage, B en A groep Beleidsonderzoek & Advies BV, Den Haag. K. Leidelmeijer & P. van Grieken (2005), Wonen en Energie. RIGO, Amsterdam).

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