Monday, 21 February 2011

Adessi 10:10 - How does our behaviour affect our energy use?

An article on the BBC News website has suggested that the way people use and live in their homes has been largely ignored by existing efforts to improve energy efficiency.

The article which quotes research conducted by Katy Janda, a senior researcher for the UK Energy Research Centre's (UKERC) Energy Demand theme, suggests that we need to remember that there is a human side to how we live in our homes and use energy, and not everything can be addressed simply by technology.

The energy from people’s homes accounts for one quarter of the energy so it is essential that we fully understand the best to way to reduce our usage, and provide a solution which is easy for people to understand and action.

Quoting the ‘Information Deficit Model’, Janda compares our energy use to supermarket shopping, by quoting research that suggests that when people are not given prices for individual items when they shop, but just a total amount at the end of each month, they find it difficult to know where to make savings. The same principle can be applied to energy use. Many people find it difficult to reduce their energy as they don’t know where they can make savings.

One suggestion for improving this is ‘information gap’ is the use of feedback monitors, such as smart meters, which can show a homeowner can see how they are using energy, which is more important for reduction than the amount of energy being used.

Do you use a smart meter in your home? If not, do you think it would help to reduce your energy use?

Click here to read the full article.

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