The Role of Community in Understanding Involvement in Community Energy Initiatives

Fleur Goedkoop*, Daniel Sloot, Lise Jans, Jacob Dijkstra, Andreas Flache, Linda Steg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Community energy initiatives are set up by volunteers in local communities to promote sustainable energy behaviors and help to facilitate a sustainable energy transition. A key question is what motivates people to be involved in such initiatives. We propose that next to a stronger personal motivation for sustainable energy, people’s perception that their community is motivated to engage in sustainable energy and their involvement in the community (i.e., community identification and interpersonal contact) may affect their initiative involvement. We tested this proposition with a questionnaire study among inhabitants of seven local communities (N = 439). Results suggested that community factors are uniquely related to initiative involvement (willingness to actively participate and attendance of an initiative meeting) next to personal sustainable energy motivations. In particular, stronger community identification and more interpersonal contact with other community members increased the likelihood that people become involved in a community initiative, but the perception of the sustainable energy motivation of one’s community was not uniquely related to initiative involvement. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number775752
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9-Feb-2022

Keywords

  • community energy initiatives
  • community identification
  • community involvement
  • interpersonal contact
  • personal motivation

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