Energy Counselling and Modern IT: Drawing on Web 2.0 for a Greener World (Green ICT, Energy and Climate Change)

In Sweden, the municipal energy counselling and the Swedish Energy Agency are two governmental actors providing independent advice on energy-related topics to the general public and to Swedish organisations. In addition to these two, there are local and foreign commercial and idealistic actors, more or less obviously representing interested parties. Yet a type of counselling is provided by private individuals and networks of individuals who share their views and knowledge by direct contact, individual websites, blogs, and through participation in wikis. Organised attempts at using the www to consolidate many small contributions and/or the individually limited demand of a multitude to an interesting, critical mass, is called web 2.0. Judging by the development in other areas, web 2.0-like initiatives will probably account for a considerable portion of the information dissemination also within the energy area in a near future. It is then important that actors like the Energy Agency and the municipal energy counsellors build knowledge on how to use these emerging arenas and not leave the field entirely to others. Web 2.0-like initiatives could be of value to counsellors’ knowledge development and knowledge exchange. They could also, and perhaps more importantly, be tools for channelling an interest among the general public into concerted knowledge production and contribute to a sound basis for the energy-related views that develop among the public.

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