Nova Management, 19th of October 2009
The Imtech Boost Team has left, and they have indeed given the Peoples’ Power Project a tremendous boost. Or rather, the team consisted of two parts and they gave us a twin boost.
1. The technical team, consisting of Imtech employees, has given content to the statement that behaviour change is the most cost-effective way to reduce domestic electricity use. Behaviour change refers to the things that residents can do without buying new equipment. In the sixteen houses where the team made measurements, a reduction of, on average, 20% is possible by making a few simple adjustments such as setting the temperature of the geyser and the fridges. The sample is too small to conclude that 20% of the national domestic electricity use can be reduced in this way, but it is quite enough to motivate further research and action.
The team has given us the procedure to follow that makes it possible to repeat this exercise indefinitely. In other words, we now know how to go to a large number of households to determine what the correct adjustments for each household should be.
The project has made it clear to what extend behaviour change is a social process. Information on the correct temperature for geysers, for example, is available on the internet. But people do not implement it, even if they cannot afford the electricity. It is only when there is personal involvement, for example when somebody discusses it with them, and show them what is happening in their own homes, and other residents are doing the same, that people become interested and even excited.
2. The second part of the team consisted ot Mark Turpin and Paul Keursten of Kessels and Smit, and Ilse van Gulik of Share People. They gave a strong boost to our strategy for taking the results of the technical team to large numbers of people: they realy improved our understanding of the marketing approach and out supporting networks
Nova extends a warm word of thanks to Imtech as a company for making this possible by making the team available and covering their costs, and especially Hendrik Smeenk and Ben Moes who played a very important role to see the possibilities and make them happen. We also repeat our sincere thanks to the technical team, including two engineering students from the Netherlands, Daniel Prior and Wester Devilee, who will remain until January.
We also warmly thank Ilse for making all the arrangements and leading the group, and ICCO-Kerk in Actie for funding Nova’s involvement, and Sanpad (the Southern African Netherlands Pogramme for Alternatives in Development), who made bursaries available that enabled two important members of the Nova team to take part.
We are grateful for the residents who always welcomed us and opened their homes to us in such a friendly way.
I am also grateful to all the Nova people for their good work. With these people, I believe that the momentum provided by the boost team will continue to pick up at a steady rate!
Attie van Niekerk
PO Box/Posbus 38465
TELEFOON +12 998 7629
CELL + 82 676 1073
FAKS +27 12 807 0182