Step By Step - Commitments towards energy saving

Step by Step aims at reducing the energy consumption of households and encouraging households to invest in energy efficient products and/or high quality renewable energy products. To achieve these goals, energy saving interventions amongst 9.000 households in 4 European areas are launched. The four European areas involved are Gent (Belgium), Cefalù (Italy), Alcúdia (Spain) and Warsaw (Poland).

The interventions are based on a behavioral strategy and a web based system for behavioral change is being deployed. The households are regularly encouraged to tray and commit to new actions to reduce energy consumption. Community-based social marketing strategies are used to encourage energy-related investment decisions.

Step by Step is innovative because its focus on personal contact. Existing energy saving campaigns provide households with a general awareness but do not provoke large scale behavior changes. Communication strategies involving direct contact are typically more effective on behavioral change than mass media campaigns. Thus, a system is put into place to make individual door-to-door contact with households. During the interview, each household will answer some questions and chose to try one to three simple actions that may save money and energy. The targeted households will be solicited regularly through email or by phone and will be accompanied over a 20 month period towards the adoption of energy-saving practices. They will be asked to report on actions and chose to try other actions.

The accompaniment will be managed by a web-based system. This system is based on a behavioral strategy. The actions suggested to households are personalised to suit their profile and the history of their activity within the intervention. The actions go from easy (e.g. use a lid on the pot while cooking), to more difficult (e.g. turn down heating by 1°C) and become finally challenges representing an investment decision (e.g. install photovoltaic panels). The actions are assembled in patterns allowing to follow different paths to adopt, step by step, a new energy saving behaviour. Each household can take its own path. The path chosen will depend on the household’s socio-demographic and psychosocial profile, motivation, life style particularities, etc.

The project is expected to deliver energy savings of 12% for at least 6.300 households. Ultimately, this Step by Step process could be deployed in any European city in order to achieve energy reduction objectives and reduction of the costs of public services and to boost the green economy. Power-Link is the communication and dissemination manager of the project.


More information

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 649733 for the period March 2015 – August 2017.

You can find more information on the project website: