Report on the consumer engagement actions

European islands face significant challenges in their pursuit of achieving zero-emission energy systems. In response, the ISLANDER project aims to propose solutions for these decarbonization challenges. Focusing on the German island of Borkum, the project developes different key technologies to facilitate decarbonization on the island: An advances Smart IT Platform, an Improved Multi-Scale Forescasting system and optimal distributed DER+HES Systems.


While technology is crucial for achieving decarbonization, it alone is insufficient. The responsibility for a zero-emission future lies with politics, industry, and consumers. Scientists agree that alongside systemic changes driven from the top-down, individual actions, lifestyles, and behaviors can make significant contributions to addressing this challenge. In the context of the ISLANDER project, consumer engagement with installed technologies is vital to achieve the best results. Various technologies, including a demand response app, solar panels, and batteries, will be installed on the island and in consumers’ houses. The goal is to stimulate consumer engagement and adapt daily energy consumption to align with renewable energy production.


Project partner KU Leuven published a deliverable D5.4 – Report on the consumer engagement actions, in which essential features to be implemented in the demand response app to effectively stimulate consumer engagement are discussed. Within this deliverable they conducted two studies utilizing psychological distance to encourage consumers to adapt their energy consumption patterns. While the results of these studies were inconclusive, the report highlights the adoption of a qualitative approach, such as interviews, to understand consumers’ motivations and barriers. The findings reveal that habits, negative emotions, and social norms are significant barriers to behavioral adaptations. Consumers often struggle to break their established habits, fear a loss of comfort, and perceive low willingness from their household members to adapt. On the other hand, self-interest and self-efficacy emerge as primary motivations, as consumers expect to reduce energy costs and positively impact the environment through their actions. These insights will be utilized to develop effective actions that drive behavior change.


KU Leuven recently was able to presented their findings in a poster presentation at the International Conference on Environmental Psychology in Aarhus, Denmark, held in June 2023. This provided an opportunity to share their research and engage with experts in the field.


Read more about it in the published deliverable: D5.4 – Report on consumer engagement actions.