Energy and energy-saving publics in Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur

Panel: 8. Dynamics of consumption

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Authors:
Mathieu Brugidou, EDF R&D, France
Caroline Escoffier, EDF R&D, France

Abstract

Based on a sample survey (N=2000) carried out in 2009 in the South East of France (Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region), this paper highlights the existence of different (and mostly exclusive) types of public involved in energy issues: one of these publics is interested in a global issue - climate change - another one is concerned with power supply stakes (limited capacity of power transmission, increase of peak load consumption and shortage) and sees energy as a local issue. The study shows that these two publics have high income, high education, and are interested in politics, but are not living in the same area and nor share the same ideology. Typically, they appear to be more sensitive to energy-savings issue than the average population. Thus, they report more often having thrifty behaviors (energy-saving gestures and/or investments). In line with academic literature comparing energy consumption and pro-environmental attitudes (Beck, 1986; Dozzi, Wallenborn & Lennert, 2008), belonging to an energy-concerned public and its electricity consumption appear to be weakly correlated. Accordingly, if there’s no direct link between individual preferences and practices, the latter being mediated by past individual choices and infrastructures, collective preferences can shape permanent new practices. Therefore, this analysis will explore how these publics adopt different policy proposals including energy pricing policies: price flexibility according to supply and demand, CO2 emissions, distance between generation and consumption sites or consumption volume per household (block-rate tariff).

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