Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Behaviour: Seeing heat saves energy

Household energy conservation can help to significantly lower energy consumption. Visual cues provided by thermal imaging of heat loss in buildings are now shown to increase energy conserving behaviours and implementations among homeowners more effectively than just performing carbon footprint audits.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Example thermal images of households.


  1. Consumption of Energy (Eurostat, accessed 16 May 2015);

  2. Goodhew, J., Pahl, S., Auburn, T. & Goodhew, S. Environ. Behav. 47, (2015).

  3. Energy Efficiency and Energy Consumption in the Household Sector (European Environment Agency, accessed 11 November 2015);

  4. Steg, L., Perlaviciute, G. & van der Werff, E. Front. Psychol. 6, 805 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Midden, C. & Ham, J. in Environmental Psychology: An Introduction (eds Steg, L., van den Berg, A. & de Groot, J. I. M. ) 243–254 (Wiley, 2012).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Linda Steg.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Steg, L. Behaviour: Seeing heat saves energy. Nat Energy 1, 15013 (2016).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing