Enhancing Sustainable Energy Saving Behaviour through Communication: A Longitudinal Study

The University of Western Australia (UWA) in conjunction with the Office of Energy of Western Australia, Synergy and online market research panel provider Pure Profile, will undertake this research project designed to understand the factors motivating long term consumer energy saving behaviour and the effectiveness of different forms of marketing communications on such behaviour. The following proposal outlines the nature and intent of this project and the anticipated commitments from each partner.
The potential impact of climate change, a scarcity of non-renewable sources of energy, population growth and movement, and the reduction of biodiversity are impacting quality of life and equity of living standards across the world. This topic is of highest priority in all political and economic forums as people at all levels are recognising the urgency of taking action on these significant challenges. Macro policies, such as the Kyoto Protocol, the European cap and trade carbon trading system, and the introduction of various energy management options are evidence of such concerns.
This study will identify factors likely to have the most impact on household energy saving behaviour and will also identify the relative strength of different media when undertaking public education campaigns. The research will help alleviate overall energy use and make better use of public marketing communications budgets. This study aims to develop a framework for enhancing the marketing communications of public sector agencies and public utilities seeking to achieve greater energy conservation through changing human behaviour. Drawing upon self determination theory and research undertaken into the factors influencing the giving and receiving of word of mouth, the study will measure the factors influencing sustainable energy saving behaviour. It will employ online communications and education media, plus peer-to-peer and consumer generated content, to measure the impact of different forms of marketing communications on such energy saving behaviours.

Publications from this study:

Jill Sweeney, Dave Webb, Geoff Soutar and Tim Mazzarol (2011)
Paper presented at "Marketing in the Age of Consumerism: Jekyll or Hyde?", ANZMAC Annual Conference, 28-30 November, Perth.
Jill Sweeney, Dave Webb, Geoffrey N. Soutar and Tim Mazzarol (2012)
IJCSS 2012 International Conferennce on Service Sciences, 24-26 May, Shanghai.
Jill Sweeney, Johannes Kresling, Dave Webb, Geoffrey N. Soutar and Tim Mazzarol (2013)
Energy Policy, 61(October): 371-381.
Dave Webb, Geoffrey N. Soutar, Tim Mazzarol and Patricia Saldaris (2013)
Journal of Environmental Psychology, 35(2013): 59-66.
Jill Sweeney, Dave Webb, Tim Mazzarol and Geoffrey N. Soutar (2014)
Psychology & Marketing, 39(9): 698-716.
Research Team: 
Tim Mazzarol
Jill Sweeney
Geoff Soutar
Dave Webb
Johannes Kresling