The roles of users in shaping transitions to new energy systems
Current government information policies and market-based instruments aimed at influencing the energy choices of consumers often ignore the fact that consumer behaviour is not fully reducible to individuals making rational conscious decisions all the time. The decisions of consumers are largely configured by shared routines embedded in socio-technical systems. To achieve a transition towards a decarbonized and energy-efficient system, an approach that goes beyond individual consumer choice and puts shared routines and system change at its centre is needed. Here, adopting a transitions perspective, we argue that consumers should be reconceptualized as users who are important stakeholders in the innovation process shaping new routines and enacting system change. We review the role of users in shifts to new decarbonized and energy-efficient systems and provide a typology of user roles.