Switched on Communities: Collective Switching for a Brighter Future?

Project Director: Jan Gilbertson
Project Duration: 2013

Collective switching is a relatively new phenomenon in the UK. Community switching initiatives have the potential to enhance individual and community resilience by empowering consumers and communities to respond to increasing fuel bills through partnership for community action and possibly future sustainable behaviour. The aim of this project was to explore collective switching as an emerging community consumer movement.

This was covered by five key objectives:

  1. Develop a typology of collective switching initiatives
  2. Understand the 'theory of change' behind local authority involvement in initiatives
  3. Explore the ways in which the idea of community switching is communicated to various (target) groups and assess the effectiveness of these methods to inform choices of different groups
  4. Explore how partnership relationships are developed and how the relevant administrative, technical (including data) and financial arrangements are organised in order for switching to be successful
  5. In what ways does collective switching lead to energy resilient communities through direct and indirect financial and behavioural outcomes/impacts?

Project team

Reader, BA (Hons), MA, PhD
Senior Research Fellow, BA (Hons), MA


Sheffield Hallam University
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