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Social Learning and Public Policy: Lessons From an Energy-Conscious Village

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Darby, S.


Energy Policy, p.34- (2006)



Social learning is a prerequisite for sustainable energy use. This paper sets out some considerations from learning theory that offer a useful way of looking at domestic energy awareness and at actions to improve energy efficiency and conserve energy. Findings from a survey of residents of an English village that had won an 'energy-conscious village' competition are used to illustrate how individual and social learning can occur over a period of time, and how a 'top down' initiative may relate to other more informal sources of motivation and information. A model of learning about domestic energy use that incorporates awareness, action and feedback is proposed, and the implications for policy and further research are discussed.