ENRGISED! How to make the sustainable contagious

News - 26 February 2020 - Communication

The Netherlands’ commitment to discontinue natural gas use by 2050 requires the cooperation of millions of households. To address this major challenge, IDE’s assistant professors Jotte de Koning and Ella Jamsin will develop an intervention strategy in which citizens mobilise each other and help make alternatives acceptable. With local partners this strategy will be tested in field trials. Wednesday 19 February was the official kick-off meeting of the ENRGISED project. 

The kick-off meeting took place at the IDE faculty, where all project partners were present. The project, which will be led by TU Delft and will take three years, was awarded an NWO grant last year. The next steps now are mapping existing tools, selecting case study contexts, and studying these networks.

How to make the sustainable contagious
In 2050 there will be seven million households in the Netherlands that have switched from natural gas to renewable energy. Technologically, the solutions are already there. You can install an all-electric heat pump, heat grids can be built, solar panels can be installed, and there are more options that are technologically ready. 

However, many people do not know how to choosewhat to choose, or when to switch, and are waiting for others to take the first steps. In the ENRGISED project, together with the faculty of Social Science and Computer Science of the University of Utrecht, IDE will investigate social contagion of decision making. In other words, how people are influenced by others in their networks to switch to renewable energy sources. The project will map, understand and model the social relationships between households and the interdependency in decision making. This information will be used to shape design social interventions and tools to accelerate the energy transition in networks.