Education and training are key to leveraging change. These educational tools can come in a variety of forms and will need to recognize the equity elements relating to access to this information.
Step 1: Incorporate CO2e values onto energy bills
The CO2e emissions associated with a customer’s energy use can be added to both electricity and gas statements. This can be displayed alongside percentages of generation by technology for electricity and by type of gas used (natural gas, fracked gas and biogas). This can help to inform customers of the level of CO2e emissions that are associated with their energy consumption. This information can be linked to efficiency and demand guides to drive behavior change in customers and help them reduce their impact.
Step 2: Create a mechanism that links emissions to smart meters to help educate customers on when CO2e is at its highest or lowest
To provide real-time updates, smart meters can be used to guide customers to when the CO2e associated with their electricity demand is at its lowest (e.g. during the night when energy is generated largely by nuclear) and highest (at times of winter peak demand when solar generation is at its lowest and fossil generation at its highest). This can then be linked to live CO2e monitoring and conveyed in their bills.
Step 3: Encourage training on demand side management
Further developing the information under Steps 1 & 2 enables the development of demand side responses58. This can be automated through the use of smart appliances such as washing machines and electric vehicles. It can also be manual, making the change a conscious behavioral choice. This demand side management may be linked to utilizing onsite generation for appliance use when energy generation is at its peak, rather than relying on grid availability.
Step 4: Utilize RIDs to understand and overcome demographic variance in technology and process uptake
The RIDs may be used to better understand the business models needed to see the uptake in low carbon technology and processes. This is likely to vary by income group and awareness levels, as customers become more aware of their energy usage as access to more granular data improves.
Step 5: Provide training and events on alternative technologies
A key component of the uptake of renewable energy generation is to provide demonstration of the technologies to show that it is possible to incorporate their utilization into buildings. This may include solar thermal, geo-thermal, and solar photo-voltaic (PV).
Step 6: Create an ‘outward bound’ and other demonstration site(s)
As well as events, demonstration sites can serve as a year-round opportunity to demonstrate the ability of renewables to provide the energy required for a building. Such sites could include schools. Additionally, a site (similar to a campsite) could be formed for team building activities where participants would be required to ‘keep the lights and heating on’. This could be located within a proposed RID.