Is the next generation prepared? Understanding barriers to teenage energy conservation.

Nicola Toth, Beth Bell, Katerina Avramides, Kerry Rulton, Linda Little

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


An important factor in shaping future patterns of energy consumption is the understanding of the problem by younger generations and their willingness to address it. Teenagers are not the principal decision-makers within the household, but are a key population to consider in relation to present and future energy consumption. Teenagers’ attitudes and behaviours will determine their current and future behaviour, and teenagers are well placed to have an impact, both by changing their own behaviour and by influencing others within the family, their social network and the public sphere (Larsson, Andersson & Osbeck, 2010). We know little about teenagers’ understanding and behaviours in relation to energy consumption. Some studies involving teenagers have presented a negative picture of their behaviour (Thøgersen & Grønhøj, 2010; BBC, 2006; Toth, Little, Read, Fitton and Horton, 2013). This chapter examines teenagers’ understanding of and attitudes towards their personal energy consumption. The chapter presents findings from several studies, both quantitative and qualitative, that have investigated teenagers’ attitudes towards their personal energy consumption, their understanding of its impact, and their attitudes towards reducing their consumption. The findings inform our understanding of current barriers that hinder teenage awareness of energy related impacts and challenges and teenage motivation to adopt changes in behaviour to mitigate these problems. This chapter contributes to the important area of understanding how to facilitate reduction in energy consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnergy Consumption: Impacts of human activity, current and future challenges, environmental and socio-economic effects
EditorsSigrid Reiter
PublisherNova Science Publishers
ISBN (Print)978-1629486512
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


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