There are many reasons why energy efficiency projects are carried out; to reduce electricity
and water usage, cut greenhouse gas emissions and to promote the conservation of biodiversity.
A common factor is that humans are the ones that make a major contribution towards
achieving goals set for energy efficiency projects. As such, humans should be targeted when
campaigning for a change of any policy concerning energy efficiency. It is often assumed
that the "end use" technology is what achieves energy efficiency. This is not true; people and
"use of the technology" consume energy and therefore determine the viability of the energy
efficiency of the project.
In most researches, the human aspect is not taken into consideration and the behaviour of
people is assumed to be generic towards thinking of energy efficiency projects. Generalising
how energy efficiency projects affect the entire population is a mistake and as such, the actual
targets of the projects may be missed. Studying the social structures of society will reveal
the actual impact each individual has on his/her society when an energy efficiency project is carried out.
It is therefore important to determine the expected energy savings by dividing the savings
into two categories; direct and indirect savings. Mathematical models to determine the impact
each individual has on his/her neighbours within a social network are formulated. The
models are derived from the study of energy, information theory and social networks. From
these models, the expected energy saved indirectly through information propagation of the
energy efficiency project is determined. The advantages of this research can be extended to
the identification of potential customers in residential mass roll-out programs and the adoption
of demand response programs.