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Overcoming Social and Institutional Barriers to Energy Conservation

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Energy, Number 5, p.355-371 (1980)



Although economically rational responses to the energy crisis, energy conservation actions may be hindered by social and institutional barriers. The nature of these barriers is explored and a taxonomy of barriers is proposed. Results of a series of interviews provide examples of the different types of barriers. Strategies for overcoming barriers are examined and some criteria for evaluating such strategies are developed. The importance of considering not only the efficiency of strategies in achieving the goal of energy conservation, but also their impacts on otherpossibly competingsocial and economic goals is emphasized. The need for increased efforts aimed at overcoming barriers and further research into the nature of these barriers is discussed.