Completed project: Sustainable lifestyles and energy consumption

The image shows a cyclist.

The aim of the project was to identify “energy-use lifestyle” groups in Lucerne and Biel/Bienne. So that effective areas of influence could be identified empirically, surveys were conducted in groups considered to be representative of the population. These surveys then formed the basis for developing the proposed measures.

Consumption, mobility and household: these three essential components of modern life are the main sources of our day-to-day energy use. As part of the project headed up by Prof. Timo Ohnmacht from the Competence Center for Mobility of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, a phase model was developed in which various measures for promoting and supporting energy-saving lifestyles were put forward.


One result of the project is the transfer of the phase model onto energy-use behaviour. The phase model is based on the premise that people go through four phases: In the first, “pre-decision” phase, the subjects are not yet thinking about whether their behaviour should be modified. In the second, “pre-action” phase, an intention starts to form. In the “action” phase, they gather their first experience. And in the fourth, “post-action” phase, the modified behaviour has become a habit.
A further result is that different types of measures are found to be effective, depending on the phase to which the subjects are assigned. It was found that modified behaviour is based on psychosocial influences such as social and personal norms, emotions or attitudes. “Perceived behaviour control” plays a major role. If a person is not sufficiently fit, for example, he or she will not switch to riding a bicycle. It is possible, however, that such a person may not know about a less steep cycle path or about seasonal electric bike rentals. Measures are then needed for making groups of people aware of such infrastructure or services.