Energy Institute

Posted by on Apr 3, 2017 in Blog, News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Niall Enright’s contribution and achievements in energy efficiency have been recognised with his election as a Fellow of the Energy Institute and the award of Chartered Energy Manager status.

This is Niall’s reaction to the awards: “It is a real honour to receive this recognition from an organisation that is doing so much to promote the profession of energy management, and I want to thank the folks who supported my application.  For my part, I hope that I can encourage others to participate in the work of the Institute and achieve the continuous professional development that is the key to success in this rapidly moving field. I know that some people may be put off by the idea of getting membership – with the need for sponsor recommendations and evidence of competency – but I would urge them to see these as opportunities. The real reward for me is not the letters after my name, but the ability to connect with fellow professionals worldwide and the reminder that investing time and money in my own development is valuable”.

Follow this link for more information about the Energy Institute.

 

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SustainSuccess team achieve top score

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It is with pleasure that we can report that SustainSuccess Consultants have scored top in an evaluation of energy efficiency services to the Greater Manchester Growth Hub. Our team, Jane Galloway and Bob Bailey, scored top as reported by the bid manager.

scores

The table above is taken from the letter notifying us of our successful bid. The Company Score rates SustainSuccess as an organisation; the Price Score rates our fee rates; “Question 9.1” documents our approach to Environmental Assessments for businesses; and the Individual TS Score rates the capabilities of each team member. 10 individuals were placed on the panel, although many more applied.

Well done folks!

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Dubai Sustainable Cities Summit

Posted by on Dec 20, 2015 in Articles, News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

dscslogo

Niall Enright was honoured to present at a panel at the Dubai Sustainable Cities Summit on the theme of Behaviour. Fellow panellists were: Sam Adams, Director, U.S. Climate Initiative at World Resources Institute; former Mayor of Portland, Oregon; Romilly Madew, CEO GBC Australia; Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of KHDA; Giovanni Schiuma, Deputy Mayor of Matera, European Cultural Capital 2019.

Niall’s introductory comments focused on the need to avoid over-simplification in change programs, emphasized by the “does not equal” symbol “≠”. Below is a complementary paper which places these observations in the context of Dubai’s ambitious energy efficiency programmes:

Thinking of change as a science

In 2004, the Canadian government spent CAN$37m on “The One-ton Challenge” to encourage Canadians to reduce their emissions by one tonne of CO2 each, or 20%. It succeeded in raising awareness of climate issues from around 6% to 51%, but few people changed their behaviour as a result.

Unfortunately, this is just one example of dozens of behaviour change programmes that have disappointed. The landscape of sustainable behaviour change is littered with failure. Contrary to our expectations:

dscs_enright_behaviour

 

So what does this mean for Dubai, which has great aspirations to become a leader in sustainability?

Dubai has set itself the objectives of a 30% reduction in energy use by 2030 and a 40% reduction in water. The eight programmes in the Demand Side Management strategy are clearly carefully considered, focusing primarily on technology upgrades to achieve this demand reduction.

The DSM programme reminds us that cities have three fundamental levers for change: People (their decisions and behaviours), Systems (the norms, incentives, standards, information and feedback that drives behaviour and controls) and Technology (the efficiency of the equipment in delivering the required service).

balance

The illustration above makes two key points. The first we have already touched upon and is shown on the left: changing aspects people’s awareness and motivation alone are not guaranteed to deliver improvement.

The second figure reminds us that technology alone is not a solution. Many technology programmes miss their expected target because people are not properly considered in the project.

It is great to see that the Dubai DSM strategy has public awareness as one of the implementation mechanisms supporting the eight programmes of work. So public engagement, and presumably, behaviour change is built into the strategy. This makes absolute sense. For example, the appliance, labelling scheme and demand-side response DSM programmes depend on people making rational choices.

I note too that over 60% of all building energy use in Dubai is due to cooling. A 2oC increase in the thermostat could achieve 16% reduction in energy consumption. So a good behaviour change programme could deliver a very significant contribution to the overall target, and at comparatively low cost.

Which brings us back to history. As my fellow countryman Winston Churchill, once observed:

“Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”

The error of history that we need to avoid is a failure to incorporate the lessons from psychology, social sciences and behavioural economics into the design of behaviour programme. The Canadians could have prevented their costly mistake if they had heeded an earlier study that showed that US$200m of expenditure in California had failed to reduce energy use a decade earlier. That study made the recommendation that advertising should not be used alone to drive change.

So what else does the scientific literature tell us?

It tells us that, like information, attitudes have surprisingly little bearing on behaviour, and that advertising simply cannot create new behaviours. Furthermore, there is no “virtuous escalator” of improvement. Asking people to make small changes (such as changing to LED lights) does not lead to bigger changes (such as installing solar PV). If you ask people to do little, you get a programme that achieves little. When people’s motivation to change is financial, then we should not expect to see further environmental behaviours from them.

The literature also tells us what does work. We know that the messages that fail in the mass media can work if delivered through a community context or, better still, face-to-face. If we combine feedback and information we see some effect, and when combined with a goal, even more and when that goal is ambitious there is an even stronger effect and if the goal has been set by the individual it is even more powerful. We know that the effect of feedback increases with frequency and by getting people to measure the improvement for themselves (called “re-materialization” by psychologists).

We know that changing occasional behaviours is easier than changing habitual behaviours. Thus, product labelling is effective because buying a TV or fridge is occasional and so people consider information in making the decision. We have evidence that changing from an A to G rating to an A++ to D rating in the EU rating substantially weakened the desirability of the top rating through psychological effects called “anchoring” and “loss aversion”.

How we frame our request has a much bigger impact that we ever suspected. For example in a large US study, when people were told that their energy consumption was higher than the average they behaved by reducing energy use, but when told that it was lower than average, their response was to increase use. The same study showed that this response could be eliminated by putting a positive message in the form of a simple smiley-face next to the savings information. These effects are due to the way that norms influence choices (the first case is the “descriptive norm” that sets the normal level and the second an “injunctive norm” that reinforces low consumption as socially desirable).

Simply put we need to treat the people aspect of our programme as a science and not an art. Since many aspects of human behaviour are counter-intuitive, the key to success is to design our behaviour change strategies scientifically and test these using the great body of knowledge that exists in the scientific literature.

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MACCBuilderPro version 3

Posted by on Oct 6, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Bright_MACCVersion 3 of MACCBuilderPro was released yesterday. It has a huge number of enhancements designed to make the creation of Marginal Abatement Cost Curves within Excel even easier. Now shipping as a native Excel workbook, existing features like colour-coded categories, design Styles and flexible project listing have all been enhanced. New features include Callouts to label projects, additional file saving options, a “Direct” data entry mode, links with PowerPoint as well as Word, and a host of other powerful features.

This is an indispensable tool for all energy efficiency, emissions policy or sustainability professionals. SustainSuccess offers MACCBuilderPro for a remarkably low cost with the intention of enabling as many people as possible to discover the power of MACC analysis. 

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New version of MACCBuilderPro soon

Posted by on Oct 3, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

MBP_MACC_ExampleWe are delighted to announce that there will be a new version of MACCBuilderPro released shortly. This version has some very neat features which you can see by clicking on the thumbnail image on the left. The changes and improvements have come about from suggestions from existing users of MACCBuilderPro.

Users of all previous versions will receive a free upgrade to the new version as soon as it is released, while new users will be delighted to hear that the price has been kept at the same low cost of just £85.00, around €100 or $136.00. SustainSuccess has chosen to keep the pricing this low in order to enable as many emissions, energy and resource efficiency practitioners as possible to incorporate high-quality MACC analysis into their research and reports.

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The Economist and the missing warming – a dangerous trap.

Posted by on Aug 23, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

EconomistThe Economist magazine has an interesting blog touching on the subject of the recent slower-than-expected rises in global temperature compared to climate model predictions. In this article climate scientist are put on the back foot to explain the “missing warming” and so have fallen unwittingly into a very dangerous trap.

The fact is that the burden of proof lies with the proponents of the use of fossil fuels, not climate scientists. This is because of a critical concept called the Precautionary Principle which states:

When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically

You can read more on this in an earlier posting “Precautionary Principle – Friend or Foe“. Under this well-established principle, which forms the basis for much environmental law worldwide, it is for the proponent of an action that could lead to harm to prove that their action will not produce the harm.

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