AIMS Energy, 2016, 4(3): 536-556. doi: 10.3934/energy.2016.3.536

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Residential consumer perspectives of effective peak electricity demand reduction interventions as an approach for low carbon communities.

School of Design, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane 4001, Australia

Internationally, policy makers have been trying to find ways of changing residential electricity use through improved energy efficiency or by means of behaviour change. Drawing on evidence from an Australian project undertaken in a community of approximately 2200 residents, this paper reviews how a combination of interventions have successfully reduced electricity demand levels to below that of pre-intervention levels. Employing a qualitative methodology and using this successful project as the basis of a case study, this research explores the effectiveness of the electricity demand reduction interventions from the perspective of residents from 22 households. By combining and tailoring interventions to the specific needs and motivations of individual householders, this study demonstrates how a multi-pronged and integrated approach can be effective in addressing the multi-faceted challenge of energy efficiency and behaviour change. The experience with this Australian residential community in achieving an ongoing reduction in electricity use is rare and the findings from the research are internationally relevant in informing policy and practice directions for achieving government-set lower carbon emission targets. This research has important implications for addressing issues related to total consumption and peak demand reduction, both financial and environmental, for the benefit of energy providers and consumers.
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