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Exploring the Effectiveness of an Energy Efficiency Behaviour Change Project on Well-Being Outcomes for Indigenous Households in Australia

1
Swinburne Business School, Faculty of Business and Law, Swinburne University of Technology & Group of Energy Efficiency Researchers Australia (GEER), Hawthorn 3122, Victoria, Australia
2
School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, Arts & Design, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn 3122, Victoria, Australia
3
Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Victoria, Australia
4
School of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Victoria, Australia
5
Swinburne Business School, Faculty of Business and Law, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn 3122, Victoria, Australia
6
Australian Council for Educational Research, Camberwell 3124, Victoria, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2285; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082285
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communicative and Behavioral Interventions to Increase Sustainability)
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Abstract

The Koorie Energy Efficiency Project (KEEP) was a Victoria-based, Australian social marketing initiative designed to provide support to Indigenous households so they could better manage their energy bills by reducing or controlling their energy use. The program was delivered by trained, Indigenous project employees who visited Indigenous households in metropolitan and regional parts of the state. During the home visit, they provided an energy efficiency audit, as well as specific energy efficiency tips and advocacy support. Minor draft-proofing products were also supplied to each household. As part of this project, dwelling and householder information was gathered during each home visit, as well as measures of energy efficiency knowledge, behaviours, and well-being of the main householder before and after a home visit. The results indicate that home visits to support the energy efficiency of indigenous households are effective in terms of encouraging new energy efficiency knowledge, behaviours, and broader elements of well-being. Furthermore, the home visit was found to be effective across all home types, but was significantly more effective in reducing energy related stress and discomfort in traditional houses and traditional apartments. These households were also often small and densely occupied. This suggests that when social marketing programs use methods that are culturally suitable and respectful, such as those used in KEEP, they become a powerful tool to help drive social change in Indigenous communities. The authors conclude that such programs in future will be hindered in their effectiveness unless property owners, such as those of social housing, do not urgently address the maintenance of their properties and ensure they provide fit living conditions for the tenants. View Full-Text
Keywords: household energy efficiency; Indigenous households; behaviour change; well-being; social marketing household energy efficiency; Indigenous households; behaviour change; well-being; social marketing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Perényi, Á.; Bedggood, R.E.; Meyer, D.; Bedggood, P.; Farquharson, K.; Johansson, C.; Milgate, G. Exploring the Effectiveness of an Energy Efficiency Behaviour Change Project on Well-Being Outcomes for Indigenous Households in Australia. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2285.

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