At the European Energy Transition Conference in Dunkirk, Stefano Proietti from ISINNOVA and Thomas Pellerin-Carlin and Emilie Magdalinski from the Jacques Delors Institute presented the ENABLE.EU case studies on heating, prosumers and mobility. The session took place in an interactive setting: participants were asked to highlight the main obstacles to changing energy behaviour among Europeans. They cited routines, the lack of information and comfort. Interestingly, when asked about what would motivate them to change their own behaviours, they emphasized that they would need to be offered alternatives and stated that a major life change could inspire them to break their routines. They also talked about the importance of  encouragement from friends and colleagues to adopt more sustainable behaviours.

At the end of the session, the participants formulated some recommendations for policies that could foster individual behavioural change. Many ideas came out, from more taxation on fossil fuels to better planning and financing of renewable energy production, along with limiting advertisements that favour unsustainable practices. Their ideas will contribute to our reflections on policy recommendations designed to support behavioural change and the energy transition at the EU level.

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The Energy Union Framework Strategy laid out on 25 February 2015 has embraced a citizens-oriented energy transition based on a low-carbon transformation of the energy system. The success of the energy transition pillar in the Energy Union will hinge upon the social acceptability of the necessary reforms and on the public engagement in conceptualizing, planning, and implementing low carbon energy transitions. The ENABLE.EU project will aim to define the key determinants of individual and collective energy choices in three key consumption areas – transportation, heating & cooling, and electricity – and in the shift to prosumption (users-led initiatives of decentralised energy production and trade). The project will also investigate the interrelations between individual and collective energy choices and their impact on regulatory, technological and investment decisions. The analysis will be based on national household and business surveys in 11 countries, as well as research-area-based comparative case studies.

The ENABLE.EU project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement 727524.