Exploring the effectiveness of an energy efficiency behaviour change project on well-being outcomes for indigenous households in Australia Academic Article uri icon

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.

authors

  • Perényi, Á
  • Bedggood, RE
  • Meyer, D
  • Bedggood, P
  • Farquharson, K
  • Johansson, Clare
  • Milgate, G

publication date

  • 2019