Understanding household energy use through survey methods

Understanding household energy use in the UK is crucial for many reasons. First, household energy use by households in the UK accounts for 1/3 of energy demand (DECC, 2013). Secondly, therefore, understanding household energy demand emerges as an imperative for climate change. However, thirdly, there are serious gaps in understanding the ways in which people use energy. Data is scarce and fragmented while epistemological and methodological concerns are often raised with regards to existing data. In view of these, we conducted a large scale survey (N=1,004) addressed to adult household members in the UK with an emphasis on recruiting a representative sample based on tenure type (while controlling for other demographic variables). The type of home and household, household composition, levels of responsibility vis a vis paying energy bills and making energy decisions were also recorded. The survey aimed to collect responses on respondents’ perceptions of energy use, including justifications for these perceptions; on actual use (time zone-based) and intention to change; on energy saving, including the meaning(s) of and reason(s) for energy saving; on the uptake (or not) of new technologies and energy saving tips, including justifications for this use and intention to change; on their practices related to the lifecycle and replacement of domestic appliances, including justifications for these practices and intention to change; on what and who influences energy related decisions and purchases; and on the agents and levels of responsibility for energy saving. The presentation discusses the results of the above survey.

Date: 
Friday, 23 October, 2015 - 13:30 to 15:00
Presenter(s): 
Maria Xenitidou
Presenter(s) biography: 

Maria Xenitidou is a Research Fellow in CRESS

Location: 
26AD03