The Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia is preparing a Community Energy Plan to provide a detailed strategy for energy investments and initiatives to be implemented in the Bridgewater community to reduce energy use, and lower GHG emissions.

To accompany and inform this plan, IndEco conducted a culture and behaviour change assessment. This assessment was completed to address a gap in understanding of the energy culture in Bridgewater, and how this culture will shape residents, businesses, and organizations ability and willingness to participate in energy activities recommended in the plan and implemented in the community.

To gain a detailed understanding of the energy culture in Bridgewater we completed the following;

  • A review of leading edge literature on behaviour change related to resource conservation;
  • A series of community workshops targeted at residents and businesses; and
  • A quantitative assessment and analysis of the results obtained from the literature review and workshops using on-line surveys.

The result of this work was 18 recommendations on the behavioural characteristics that should be considered when developing and communicating energy actions, programs and initiatives. These recommendations are related to the current and future energy narrative in Bridgewater, barriers and motivators to action, and
specific energy behaviour strategies that should be employed.

This assessment will guide the Town of Bridgewater in considering culture and behavior change when designing and implementing their community energy plan. It also hoped that it will provide a model for other municipalities to encourage them to consider the culture and behaviours of their communities when preparing community energy plans and implementing energy and GHG reduction actions.

Photo “East Side of Bridgewater” by Madereugeneandrew (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons