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Novel service models to empower energy users to change their daily energy practices in Grenoble

Engaging users of three distinct building types to test different ways to make “energy sobriety” attractive and attainable

City Lab research led by: the City of Grenoble and Grenoble Ecole de Management

Our context

Grenoble has a strong tradition of innovation in industry, engineering, and research. It aims to be a demonstration case of a “city in transition” – in other words, a city that is technologically advanced, but above all inclusive and creative.

Through SONNET, Grenoble seeks to create an environment in which behavioural shifts towards “energy sufficiency” are both attractive and attainable. Energy sufficiency (or sobriety) is the idea of reducing or altogether avoiding energy consumption, which is increasingly widely used in France. This will build off the city’s legacy of environmental action. Grenoble is committed to a local Air, Energy & Climate action plan with goals to reduce energy consumption in public buildings by 22% from 2017 to 2030, which will represent a 39% decrease in overall greenhouse gas emissions. Climate action in the city has been so successful that Grenoble is the European Green Capital 2022.

City Lab description

The main goal of the SONNET City Lab in Grenoble was to experiment with diverse innovative methods to foster change in energy behaviours and promote energy sufficiency. The Lab was launched in February 2020 and worked together with three groups that use municipal buildings: associations, the local administration, and schools.

Key learnings

  • City Lab participants were interested in receiving practical tips and energy saving solutions.
  • In order to run a successful City Lab on energy sufficiency, it was necessary to ensure energy quality and proper maintenance of buildings. If buildings are in poor condition, users may be less willing to participate in energy saving actions.
  • It is essential to have a dedicated, well-trained and enthusiastic team that can bring everyone on board, both employees and managers.
  • Always think of your target group and find appropriate ways to communicate with them.

Read the Grenoble City Lab report here.

Contact and more information

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