Attitude-behaviour gap in energy issues: Case study of three different Finnish residential areas

N. Valkila, A. Saari

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    To mitigate climate change technical advances must be accompanied by greater ecological commitment from consumers, i.e. households. This study aims to determine whether there are differences in energy attitudes and energy behaviour between residents living in three different types of residential districts. To gain an understanding of attitudes, the study investigated the participants' concerns about climate change, their position on energy issues and their perceptions of their own energy behaviour. To gain an understanding of actual energy behaviour the study investigated the participants' carbon footprints. The results indicate that there is a gap between people's energy attitudes and their actual energy behaviour. There seems to be a discernible 'ecologisation', a greening of attitudes, in Finnish society, but actual energy behaviour is changing more slowly. People know how to reduce their energy use but are e.g. too comfort-loving or indifferent to make any changes to their energy use. Due to the attitudes are not becoming more environment friendly and no environmental action is happening. Regarding further research this gap need to be investigated specifically and filled because it could otherwise prove a significant stumbling block to achieving the desired rate of progress towards the country's environmental goals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)24-34
    Number of pages11
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Carbon footprint
    • Energy attitudes
    • Energy behaviour
    • Finland
    • Greenhouse gas emissions

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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