In the first of a series of articles on consumer energy behaviour, published in Energies we try to identify individual attitudes and beliefs of energy consumers using the example of the residents of the province of Silesia (Poland). We divided our research into two parts. First, we conducted an expert segmentation of respondents in terms of motivation to save energy, based on the results of our empirical research. The second stage of the study involved using a classification model that allowed for the characterisation of the obtained groups. Psychological and financial factors were of greatest significance. Nonetheless, the obtained results explicitly indicate the specificity of the region, which requires transformation towards a low-emission economy. (You can read the full text of the article here.) The obtained research results and the conclusions drawn contribute to the expansion of the concept of segmentation of energy consumers in accordance with their internal beliefs, motivations and past behaviours. On this basis, we conduct extended research as part of the eco-bot project on a sample of consumers from several European countries.
In the second article summarizing the preliminary research results of the eco-bot project we develop the original model of energy consumer segmentation, based on behavioural variables, which influence consumer decisions and motivations regardless of demographic, geographic and socio-cultural differences. The segmentation involved adopting—a priori—five basic classes of consumers, varying in terms of motivation to save energy: 1. the Ecological Idealist (EI), was mainly driven by a sense of inner responsibility (intrinsic source of motivation), while 2. the Aspiring Ecologist (AE) was influenced by the environment and social pressure, either experienced or perceived (extrinsic motivation); 3. the Opportunist (O) was responsive to pro-environmental and financial arguments, but limit their actions either due to aversion to change or fear of losing comfort and quality of life.; 4. the Dedicated Saver (DS) was motivated and willing to undertake energy-saving measures that require effort and may result in lowering their perceived comfort 5. the Indifferent (I) did not show any interest in their energy consumption levels and did not consider environmental issues when making decisions. The division into five segments, was the starting point for preparing the characteristics of particular groups, which, at a later stage, would become the basis for developing dedicated recommendations and strategies for engaging particular groups of application users in actions aimed at more energy-efficient behaviour. You can read more about the characteristics of the segments and the research results here
After validating the behavioural segmentation for the Eco-Bot project in our recent paper (which you can check here: Energies | An Innovative Approach to Energy Consumer Segmentation—A Behavioural Perspective. The Case of the Eco-Bot Project | we want to investigate the segments from the point of view of different socio-economic or geographic characteristics. People from different countries may have the same motivation (which the behavioural segmentation helps to establish) but different factors may also influence their energy (and energy efficiency) behaviours. Basically, we would like to see if there are any similarities or differences between the household energy-users from different countries that belong to the same segment. Such information could be used to better engage the users and also to finetune the recommendations resulting in more energy-efficient future. Another article describing these issues will soon be published in Energies (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/energies) Stay tuned.