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Navigating behavioral energy sufficiency. Results from a survey in Swiss cities on potential behavior change

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Seidl Roman, Moser Corinne, Blumer Yann,
Project Using formal social groups to promote energy sufficient behaviour in cities
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal PLOS ONE
Volume (Issue) 12(10)
Page(s) e0185963 - e0185963
Title of proceedings PLOS ONE
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0185963

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Many countries have some kind of energy-system transformation either planned or ongoing for various reasons, such as to curb carbon emissions or to compensate for the phasing out of nuclear energy. One important component of these transformations is the overall reduction in energy demand. It is generally acknowledged that the domestic sector represents a large share of total energy consumption in many countries. Increased energy efficiency is one factor that reduces energy demand, but behavioral approaches (known as “sufficiency”) and their respective interventions also play important roles. In this paper, we address citizens’ heterogeneity regarding both their current behaviors and their willingness to realize their sufficiency potentials—that is, to reduce their energy consumption through behavioral change. We collaborated with three Swiss cities for this study. A survey conducted in the three cities yielded thematic sets of energy-consumption behavior that various groups of participants rated differently. Using this data, we identified four groups of participants with different patterns of both current behaviors and sufficiency potentials. The paper discusses intervention types and addresses citizens’ heterogeneity and behaviors from a city-based perspective.