lnstitutional Barriers to New Forms of Collective Action Aimed at Saving Energy
This chapter discusses the findings of some empirical case studies on new forms of collective consumer action. The study attempts to assess what contribution to rational energy use can be made by self-help groups (individual producers of power and heat), citizens' action groups working for local energy supply planning, independent energy consultancy groups, and employee-managed enterprises producing alternative energy technologies.
Theoretical approaches seeking to clarify the link between energy policy and consumer behavior have been concerned with the problems of acceptance of administrative energy- saving programs and the participation of the consumers in their implementation. Such analyses take into account economic, political, social, and psychological factors that may have a bearing on the effectiveness of programs. Without disputing the significance of these analyses, they share a common weakness. Whenever they refer to consumer behavior, it is always the energy-consuming behavior of the private household that is the concern. Without doubt there are important reasons for giving prominence to domestic energy consumption patterns. Private households are an important part of the audience to whom administrative