Neither sermons nor silence

The Green Alliance in the UK has published a valuable report entitled “Neither sermons nor silence – the case for national communications on energy use”. The report examines previous Government-led national communication campaigns, including “Act on CO2” and argues that they lacked enabling policy to underpin them. There are behavioural barriers to uptake and the track record of demand for energy efficiency measures is poor, even when measures are heavily subsidised or given away. So, the report argues, the availability of new schemes will not automatically result in high levels of uptake.

Conversely, the authors make a case for the importance of nation-wide campaigns, without which programmes such as the Green Deal or the Renewable Heat Incentive would have little chance of success. The report also describes important challenges to consumer engagement, and includes five case studies including the digital switchover and “Flex your power”, a Californian household energy efficiency communications scheme.  The report is a valuable resource for all countries and is available from their website.

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