Achieving a transition from one set of energy-related behaviours to another is a highly complex process. From an Energy Cultures perspective, energy behaviour is the outcome of interactions between people?s expectations about energy services, the technologies they use, and the practices they undertake. These are in turn are influenced by factors beyond their control such as policy settings, energy prices and social marketing. Achieving behaviour change can be immensely difficult because of the tendency of these influences to support the status quo, and because of the heterogeneity in circumstances of energy users. The Energy Cultures team uses an interdisciplinary approach to investigate these interactions, and has developed the Energy Cultures framework to support this research. The framework has proved to be surprisingly fruitful, and our presentation will focus on its three key functions as used in our research programme: as a concept, a framework and an organizing principle.
About the Speakers:
Dr Janet Stephenson is a social scientist with a particular interest in societal responses to environmental challenges. She is the co-leader of the Energy Cultures research programme, an interdisciplinary project investigating energy behaviour change in households, businesses and transport. She is also a member of the Green Grid research project which is investigating the requirements for a New Zealand smart grid based on high levels of renewables and distributed prosumption. Janet is also Director of the Centre for Sustainability.
Dr. Rebecca Ford, Research Fellow at CSAFE, is focussed on the development of technological solutions to improve the way in which people use energy. She is currently working on two interdisciplinary projects - Energy Cultures and Renewable Energy and the Smart Grid ? both focussed on identifying and evaluating behavioural and technological opportunities to improve the efficiency with which we use appliances in the home and in our modes of travel. Becky completed a PhD in Engineering, University of Oxford, UK. She worked under the supervision of Dr. Malcolm McCulloch in the Electrical Power Lab, on a research project titled ?Reducing domestic energy consumption through behaviour modification?. She also holds a First Class Masters Degree in Engineering Science from Trinity College, Oxford.