This report captures the results of an extensive literature review of studies that cluster citizens regarding their energy/environmental behaviors. The report maps the factors that might be used in the literature to create clusters for decarbonization under the work of WP4. Outputs of the review are presented at two levels: individual and collective. At an individual level, major variables for clustering energy behaviors were categorized as socio-economic and demographic, psychological, energy consumption/environmental patterns across different areas of life (housing, transport, etc.), and other contextual variables. At a collective level, major variables were categorized as socio-economic and demographic, energy infrastructure variables, energy consumption profiles, environmental performance, and other contextual factors.
In the transition to a state of net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, citizens are supposed to play a much larger role, including as self-consumers and participants in energy communities. As a result of this increasingly participatory role of citizens in the energy system, the new concept of energy citizenship has emerged in recent years. Around this term, we can also find emerging trends/ patterns that can relate to: (i.) the active participation in the energy market, such as the concept of prosumerism, smart technologies, etc., (ii.) behavioral attributes of citizens, (iii.) individual lifestyle changes, (iv.) collective initiatives and expressions of energy citizenship, and (v.) political activities. This report identifies the following trends/ patterns:
- Formation of energy communities;
- Establishment of eco-villages;
- Lifestyle changes;
- Energy efficiency measures;
- Citizens’ behavior;
- Preferences towards RES;
- Participation in energy transition movements;
- Participation in energy sector planning and decision-making.
Analyzing two collective actions from the United States—the civil rights movement and the fall of the tobacco industry—brings valuable insights that may be applied to the energy transition context. More specifically, the two case studies show the different transformation pathways through which change happens at a large scale. These collective actions are also centered around different resources – cigarettes as a tangible product, and justice as a non-tangible resource. As the energy transition has elements from both collective actions, the insights from the analysis may be related not only to the use of technology and the related practices but also to the justice elements found within the changes that need to be carried out in the future.
The overall vision of the Horizon 2020 project Energy Citizens for Inclusive Decarbonization (ENCLUDE) is to help the EU fulfill its promise of just and inclusive decarbonization through sharing and co-creating new knowledge and practices that maximize the number and diversity of citizens who are willing and able to contribute to the energy transition. By establishing a structured and well-documented pool of relevant international case studies, the project aims to study energy citizenship from a group-centered sociological perspective, in order to identify the most important processes and factors affecting the emergence and consolidation of energy citizenship groups. The data collection to create the case studies pool of Collective Energy Initiatives (CEIs) was a mixture of desktop research and qualitative semi-structured interviews. Information was gathered for a set of questions concerning the size, age, and location of the initiative, the type of participation and governance, the resources, the main activities, goals, and impacts, among others. Our approach is based on two theoretical frameworks: the Energy Cultures Framework and the Socio-Ecological Systems Framework for Integrated Community Energy Systems. First, information was derived from public sources, such as websites of the cases, study reports, business reports, etc. Then, interviews with a case representative were conducted, when possible, to deepen and supplement the information. To analyse the obtained information, we used an adapted variant of the grounded theory. We identified categories into which the cases can be split according to the information we gathered for each of the asked questions, by looking both at all cases as a whole and at the details of each case separately, in order to identify patterns. The initial results of our analysis are presented in the attached leaflet.