Presentation on theme: "Agency, Capacity and Community Electricity Demand Reduction Yael Parag School of Sustainability, IDC, Herzliya, Israel Shai Zur Department of Natural Resources."— Presentation transcript:
Agency, Capacity and Community Electricity Demand Reduction Yael Parag School of Sustainability, IDC, Herzliya, Israel Shai Zur Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Haifa University, Israel Nadav Raz Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Haifa University, Israel Behave Conference, 3-4 September, Said Business School, Oxford
A few definitions and concepts Middle-out approach to socio-technical changes Actor: individual, organization, institution, group, etc.; depending on the social context Agency : actor’s capability and willingness to make his/her own free choices Capacity : actor’s capability to perform the choices he/she made Both agency and capacity are contextual and influenced by technical, institutional, financial, political, social, psychological and other factors
Not interested in change but capable of performing it – action is less likely Interested in change and capable of performing it - action is likely Not interested in change and incapable of performing change - action is unlikely Interested in change but incapable of preforming it – action is less likely Agency Low Capacity Low High Hypothesis on agency, capacity and the likelihood of action
Middle actors Middle actors: neither the regulator, the energy supplier nor the consumer, but rather actors who influence various aspects of the ways in which energy is produced, delivered or consumed Due to their own agency and capacity and due to their position between top and bottom actors, middle actors are in a good position to influence other actors agency and capacity and to enable and facilitate change
MIDDLE OUT BOTTOM UP TOP DOWN upstream downstream sideways Middle-out approach to socio-technical change Parag & Janda 2014
Research objectives Testing the relations between agency, capacity and likelihood of change in the case of electricity demand reduction Identifying middle actors and platforms that are perceived as influential on energy decision making by bottom actors
Population: Kibbutz Ein-Harod A rural collective community of ~210 hh in Israel, of which 79 hh participated in this study Established on 1921 Members are informed on their monthly electricity consumption but the Kibbutz – and not consumers –pays the electricity bill
Data collection (1 ) Households’ actual monthly electricity consumption was metered in 2012 and on the same period in 2013 (2) 79 members of the Kibbutz filled a questionnaire o (a) Self reported agency: participants were asked to rank (on a scale of 1-5) their interest and willingness to undertake 13 actions to reduce their household electricity consumption. (e.g., changing light bulbs, changing thermostat setting, turning off computers and television sets, replacing old and inefficient appliances). If they had already carried out the activity, they were asked to provide their motivation for so doing. o (b) Self reported capacity: participants were asked to rank (on a scale of 1-5) their ability to actually perform the same 13 actions. If they responded that they were completely incapable, they were asked to explain what prevented them from doing so. o (c) Other information: age, number of people in household, number of children in household, years of membership in the Kibbutz. Information about the dwelling physical condition included the size of the house, number of rooms. Information was also collected on the age of 14 specific appliances (e.g., fridge, freezer, washing machine, drier, dish-washer, air-conditioning in each room, etc.).
Data collection (d) Middle actors and enabling platforms: participants were presented with 14 types of actors (for example the Kibbutz energy officers, the Kibbutz electrician, electrician not from the Kibbutz, the Kibbutz management committee, the Kibbutz building and planning officer, neighbors, etc.) and with 3 types of information communication platforms (periodic information about electricity use, written information provided by the Kibbutz electrician, professional brochures). They were asked to indicate how much their energy saving decisions are influenced (on a scale of 1-5) by the recommendations provided by the specific actor or platform. Participants could also indicate that the actor or platform is ‘not relevant’. Aside from the pre-defined list of 17 actors and platforms, participants could add other influencing actors and channels.
Analysis Dependent variable: % change in cumulative electricity consumption (in kWh) between the two periods (degree days adjusted with references to 2011and base temperature of 25ºC) Independent variable: Level of agency: recoded to ‘high’ and ‘low’ Level of capacity: recoded to ‘high’ and ‘low’
Findings I N Mean (% change) Std.MedianSig Agency Low15+2.1914.361.99 0.0343 High35-7.2313.28-7.97 Capacity Low17+3.5511.933.39 0.0039 high33-8.5013.59-8.54 Levels of agency and capacity and rate of change in electricity consumption Non-parametric Wilcoxon Two-Sample Test
Findings II Participants with the combination of: N Mean (% change) StdMedianSig low agency and low capacity 9 +6.67 12.825.02 0.0092 high agency and high capacity 279.39-13.4110.15- Mismatch*: low agency and high capacity; high agency and low capacity 141.91-12.311.32 Combination of agency and capacity and rate of change in electricity consumption Kruskal-Wallis Test between 3 independent groups * Wilcoxon Two-Sample Test found no significant differences (p = 0.6514) between the categories low agency & high capacity and high agency & low capacity and change in electricity consumption. Therefore these categories were combined into mismatch.
No significant differences were found between: Number of people in household and levels of agency (high / low), or levels of capacity (high / low), or the combinations of agency and capacity Size of house and levels of agency (high / low), or levels of capacity (high / low), or the combinations of agency and capacity No significant correlation was found between % of change in electricity consumption and number of people in household, or size of house Findings III
Findings IV Kibbutz energy officer Kibbutz local electrician Kibbutz plumbing officer Kibbutz building officer Kibbutz engineer Electrician not from the Kibbutz Kibbutz Purchase officer % influenced 79674838363433 % not influenced 17324948442749 % not relevant 41314193818 Relevant middle-actors and level of influence Presented in the table are only those who influence 33% or more Neighbors were not found to be influential actors on energy saving decision making.
Summary: agency and capacity Initial validation to the middle out hypothesis on agency, capacity and change Further research: How variables such as values, beliefs, norms and attitudes are correlated with people self-perceived agency? How variables such as access to resources, infrastructures and regulation are correlated with self-perceived capacity? Are self-perceived agency and capacity correlated with actual agency and capacity?
Summary: middle actors We identified middle actors which are relevant to the community o Some of them are the obvious ‘usual suspects’ (e.g., energy officers, local electrician), other are less obvious, (e.g., plumbing officer, purchasing officer) Further research: Test the middle-out strategy which suggests that working with middle actors might be more effective in enabling changes compared to working only with end-users.
Summary: social setting Ein-Harod is a unique community, which does not represent the wider population in Israel or elsewhere o It is a small and cohesive rural community with clear and formal organizational structure and management o Members do not pay for their electricity consumption Further research: Test the middle-out in different social contexts and settings.
Parag, Y., & Janda, K. B. (2014). More than filler: Middle actors and socio-technical change in the energy system from the “middle- out”. Energy Research & Social Science, 3(0), 102-112. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2014.07.011http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2014.07.011