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Making energy visible: A qualitative field study of how householders interact with feedback from smart energy monitors

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  • Hargreaves, Tom
  • Nye, Michael
  • Burgess, Jacquelin

Abstract

This paper explores how UK householders interacted with feedback on their domestic energy consumption in a field trial of real-time displays or smart energy monitors. After examining relevant bodies of literature on the effects of energy feedback on consumption behaviour, and on the complex role of energy and appliances within household moral economies, the paper draws on qualitative evidence from interviews with 15 UK householders trialling smart energy monitors of differing levels of sophistication. It focuses specifically on householder motivations for acquiring the monitors, how the monitors have been used, how feedback has changed consumption behaviour, and the limitations to further behavioural change the householders experienced. The paper concludes by identifying significant implications for future research and policy in this area.

Suggested Citation

  • Hargreaves, Tom & Nye, Michael & Burgess, Jacquelin, 2010. "Making energy visible: A qualitative field study of how householders interact with feedback from smart energy monitors," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6111-6119, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:10:p:6111-6119
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carlsson-Kanyama, Annika & Linden, Anna-Lisa, 2007. "Energy efficiency in residences--Challenges for women and men in the North," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2163-2172, April.
    2. Burgess, Jacquelin & Nye, Michael, 2008. "Re-materialising energy use through transparent monitoring systems," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4454-4459, December.
    3. Aune, Margrethe, 2007. "Energy comes home," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 5457-5465, November.
    4. J Burgess & C M Harrison & P Filius, 1998. "Environmental communication and the cultural politics of environmental citizenship," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 30(8), pages 1445-1460, August.
    5. Boardman, Brenda, 2004. "New directions for household energy efficiency: evidence from the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(17), pages 1921-1933, November.
    6. J Burgess & C M Harrison & P Filius, 1998. "Environmental Communication and the Cultural Politics of Environmental Citizenship," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 30(8), pages 1445-1460, August.
    7. Kempton, Willett & Layne, Linda L., 1994. "The consumer's energy analysis environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 857-866, October.
    8. Wilhite, Harold & Nakagami, Hidetoshi & Masuda, Takashi & Yamaga, Yukiko & Haneda, Hiroshi, 1996. "A cross-cultural analysis of household energy use behaviour in Japan and Norway," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(9), pages 795-803, September.
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