A framework for targeting household energy savings through habitual behavioural change

Mary Pothitou, Athanasios J. Kolios, Liz Varga, Sai Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews existing up-to-date literature related to individual household energy consumption. The how and why individual behaviour affects energy use are discussed, together with the principles and perspectives which have so far been considered in order to explain the habitual consuming behaviour. The research gaps, which are revealed from previous studies in terms of the limitations or assumptions on the methodology to alter individuals’ energy usage, give insights for a conceptual framework to define a comprehensive approach. The proposed framework suggests that the individual energy perception gaps are affected by psychological, habitual, structural and cultural variables in a wider-contextual, meso-societal and micro-individual spectrum. All these factors need to be considered in order for a variety of combined intervention methods, which are discussed and recommended, to introduce a more effective shift in the conventional energy-consuming behaviour, advancing insights for successful energy policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-700
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Energy
Issue number7
Early online date16 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2016


  • energy efficiency and energy conservation
  • habitual energy behaviour
  • household energy savings


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