What are some of the road shows and outreach exhibitions available in Singapore?

Through a Google search on the number of government initiatives pertaining to the issue of energy conservation within households, I have discovered three different outreach programs conducted in recent years. These include the Energy Challenge Fair 2010 organized by the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Energy SAVE road shows and the Energy SAVE outreach exhibitions coordinated by the Housing and Development Board (HDB).

Notwithstanding of the different organizers, the content featured in each exhibitions were actually very similar. All advocated the message of energy saving lifestyle through the adopting of “energy saving tips” and purchasing of “energy efficient appliances” (HDB, 2011; E2 Singapore, 2010). A sample of these energy saving tips include: opting for a fan instead of an air-conditioned in cooling oneself, switching off unused appliances completely at the power socket and choosing energy saving light bulbs. The push for green consumerism, on the other hand, is facilitated by the presence of vendors selling appliances affixed with an “energy label”- an indicator of the degree of energy efficiency.

Judging from its contents, the main purpose of these road shows and exhibitions appears to be on educating the public about specific actions that an individual can take to conserve energy. Education is important as people are more likely to act in a sustainable manner if they are aware of the environmental implications of their actions. Hines et al. (1987) in reviewing the results of a meta-analysis concluded that knowledge of environmental issues and specific response strategies were reliable predictors of environmental behaviour.

But is knowledge alone sufficient to induce pro- environmental behavioural changes? A survey on the effect of energy labels on prospective home buyers in UK suggests otherwise. Despite being issued the energy performance certificates (EPC) which indicated steps to reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, approximately 79% of those interviewed had not carried out those recommendations (theguardian, 2011). Such a finding raises the question of whether there are other factors besides knowledge which are required to induce behavioural changes. I believe there are, but I trust that we have had enough for a blog post as of now. Henceforth, I shall elaborate on these factors in the next upcoming entry.