Engaging the Owner Occupier towards a Net Zero future via a Persona Modelling Framework




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BECC Conference series (UC Berkeley, ACEEE, Stanford University)



Peer reviewed


The U.K. government commissions an annual English Housing Survey and then uses Acorn consumer classification software to produce 5 personae to plan policy around. However, they do not create tailored engagement plans to enact them, rather they follow the Shared Value model originating from the Harvard Business School. At present Owner Occupiers make up 64% of the U.K. housing market, therefore voter backlash from unpopular policies is a key government concern when considering regulation. Therefore, without appropriate governance we need to understand what would motivate this group to take action for themselves. However, before you can make any appropriate engagement strategy to support policy roll out, knowledge is needed of their drivers or barriers, opinions and beliefs.

Building upon a 2021 ECEEE presentation, using both quantitative and qualitative data capture this work currently engages a specific, focused group, of approximately 2000 participants chosen due to close demographic matching with the typical Household Representative Person. Via survey and then focus groups it challenges assumptions around who makes decisions on energy efficiency, their motivations and barriers, and provides data on who are their trusted messengers – current survey results indicate that 82.1% of respondents do not trust that the government regularly puts voter interests above their own…

Persona modelling, cognitive theory and behavioural insights will be used to create a flexible, end user driven, framework that facilitates and motivates participants to feel engaged and then empowered to make decisions around behavioural changes resulting in increased installation rates of energy efficiency retro-fit measures. The ultimate aim of the work is to create the equivalent of the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter that can listen to their needs via an interactive api. This then matches them to positive role model stories containing embedded support links that match their tailored profile, consequently creating agency and motivation.



Net zero, owner occupier, behaviour change


Rowlatt, J., Reeves, A. Brown, N. Morton, A. (2022) Engaging the Owner Occupier towards a Net Zero future via a Persona Modelling Framework. Behavior, Energy & Climate Change (BECC), November 13 – 16, 2022, Washington DC.


Research Institute

Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD)