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

Research article

Export file:

Format

  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text

Content

  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

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.
  Figure/Table
  Supplementary
  Article Metrics

References

1. Moloney S, Horne RE, Fien J (2010) Transitioning to low carbon communities—from behaviour change to systemic change: Lessons from Australia. Energy policy 38: 7614-7623.    

2. Heiskanen E, Johnson M, Robinson S, et al. (2010) Low-Carbon Communities as a Context for Individual Behavioural Change. Energy Policy 38: 7586-7595.    

3. Abrahamse W, Steg L, Vlek C, et al. (2005) A review of intervention studies aimed at household energy conservation. J Environ Psych 25: 273-291.    

4. Steg L (2008) Promoting household energy conservation. Energy policy 36: 4449-4453.    

5. Hazas M, Friday A, Scott J (2011) Look back before leaping forward: four decades of domestic energy inquiry. IEEE Pervasive Computing 10: 13-19.    

6. Stern PC (1999) Information, incentives, and proenvironmental consumer behavior. J Consumer Policy 22: 461-478.    

7. Dietz T, Stern PC (2002) New Tools for Environmental Protection: Education, Information, and Voluntary Measures. Washington: National Academies Press.

8. Stern PC (2008) Environmentally significant behavior in the home. In: Lewis A, editor. Stern PC (2008) in The Cambridge Handbook of Psychology and Economic Behaviour. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ Press, 363-382.

9. Stern PC (2011) Contributions of psychology to limiting climate change. American Psychologist 66: 303-314.    

10. Gardner GT, Stern PC (2002) Environmental Problems and Human Behavior. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing.

11. Wilhite H, Shove E, Lutzenhiser L, et al. (2000) The legacy of twenty years of energy demand management: we know more about individual behaviour but next to nothing about demand. Society, behaviour, and climate change mitigation: Springer, 109-126.

12. Biggart NW, Lutzenhiser L (2007) Economic sociology and the social problem of energy inefficiency. American Behavioral Scientist 50: 1070-1087.    

13. Geller H, Attali S (2005) The experience with energy efficiency policies and programmes in IEA countries: Learning from the critics. Paris: International Energy Agency Information Paper.

14. Sorrell S (2007) The economics of energy service contracts. Energy Policy 35: 507-521.    

15. Kurz T (2002) The Psychology of Environmentally Sustainable Behavior: Fitting Together Pieces of the Puzzle. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy 2: 257-278.    

16. Abrahamse W, Steg L, Vlek C, et al. (2007) The effect of tailored information, goal setting, and tailored feedback on household energy use, energy-related behaviors, and behavioral antecedents. J Environ Psychology 27: 265-276.    

17. Parnell R, Larsen OP (2005) Informing the Development of Domestic Energy Efficiency Initiatives: An Everyday Householder-Centered Framework. Environ Behavior 37: 787-807.    

18. van Vliet B, Chappells H, Shove E (2005) Infrastructures of consumption: environmental innovation in the utility industries. London: Earthscan.

19. Snowden D (2002) Complex acts of knowing: paradox and descriptive self-awareness. J Knowledge Manage 6: 100-111.

20. Kurtz CF, Snowden DJ (2003) The new dynamics of strategy: sense-making in a complex and complicated world. IEEE Engineering Management Review 30; 31: 110-110.

21. Lutzenhiser L (1993) Social and behavioral aspects of energy use. Annu Rev Energ Env18: 247-289.

22. Keirstead J (2006) Evaluating the applicability of integrated domestic energy consumption frameworks in the UK. Energy policy 34: 3065-3077.    

23. Wilson C, Dowlatabadi H (2007) Models of decision making and residential energy use. Annul Rev Env Resour 32: 169-203.

24. Stern PC (2000) Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavior. J Social Issue 56: 407-424.    

25. Heiskanen E, Johnson M, Saastamoinen M, et al. How does consumer behaviour change? Examples from energy conservation. In: Koskela M, Vinnari M, editors; 2009; Tampere, Finland. FFRC eBOOK, 287-295.

26. Lucas K, Brooks M, Darnton A, et al. (2008) Promoting pro-environmental behaviour: existing evidence and policy implications. Environ Sci Policy 11: 456-466.    

27. Midden CJH, Kaiser FG, Teddy McCalley L (2007) Technology’s Four Roles in Understanding Individuals’ Conservation of Natural Resources. J Social Issue 63: 155-174.    

28. McCalley LT, de Vries PW, Midden CJH (2011) Consumer Response to Product-Integrated Energy Feedback: Behavior, Goal Level Shifts, and Energy Conservation. Environ Behavior 43: 525.    

29. Dietz T, Gardner GT, Gilligan J, et al. (2009) Household actions can provide a behavioral wedge to rapidly reduce US carbon emissions. Proc Natl Acad Sci 106: 18452-18456.

30. Gardner GT, Stern PC (2008) The Short List: The Most Effective Actions U.S. Households Can Take to Curb Climate Change. Environ Sci Policy for Sustain Dev 50: 12-25.

31. Sundramoorthy V, Cooper G, Linge N, et al. (2011) Domesticating Energy-Monitoring Systems: Challenges and Design Concerns. IEEE Pervasive Computing 10: 20-27.    

32. Stephenson J, Barton B, Carrington G, et al. (2010) Energy cultures: a framework for understanding energy behaviours. Energy policy 38: 6120-6129.    

33. Yin RK (2012) Applications of case study research. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE.

34. Holstein JA, Gubrium JF (1995) The active interview. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

35. Lincoln YS, Guba EG (1985) Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, Calif: Sage Publications.

36. Guest G, Bunce A, Johnson L (2006) How Many Interviews Are Enough? An Experiment with Data Saturation and Variability. Field Methods 18: 59-82.

37. Aronson J (1994) A pragmatic view of thematic analysis. The qualitative report 2: 1-3.

38. Attari SZ, DeKay ML, Davidson CI, et al. (2010) Public perceptions of energy consumption and savings. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107: 16054-16059.

39. Dietz T (2010) Narrowing the US energy efficiency gap. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107: 16007-16008.    

40. Fischer C (2008) Feedback on household electricity consumption: a tool for saving energy? Energy Efficiency 1: 79-104.    

41. Darby S (2003) Making sense of energy advice. in eceee 2003 Summer Study: Time to turn down energy demand. Saint-Raphaël, France: European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

42. Vine D, Buys L, Morris P (2013) The effectiveness of energy feedback for conservation and peak demand : a literature review. Open J Energy Efficiency 2: 7-15.    

43. Gillingham K, Newell RG, Palmer K (2009) Energy Efficiency Economics and Policy, Annual Review of Resource Economics. Annu Rev 1: 597-620.

44. McMakin AH, Malone EL, Lundgren RE (2002) Motivating Residents to Conserve Energy without Financial Incentives. Environ Behavior 34: 848-863.    

45. Darby S (2010) Smart metering: what potential for householder engagement? Build Res Inf 38: 442-457.    

46. Darby S (2006) The effectiveness of feedback on energy consumption: A review for DEFRA of the literature on metering, billing and direct displays. Oxford: Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford.

47. Ehrhardt-Martinez K, Laitner JAS, Donnelly KA (2011) Chapter 10—Beyond the Meter: Enabling Better Home Energy Management. In: Fereidoon Perry S, editor. Energy, Sustainability and the Environment. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 273-303.

48. Young D (2008) Who pays for the ‘beer fridge’? Evidence from Canada. Energy Policy 36: 553-560.

49. Gonzales MH, Aronson E, Costanzo MA (1988) Using Social Cognition and Persuasion to Promote Energy Conservation: A Quasi-Experiment. J Appl Social Psychol 18: 1049-1066.    

50. Gyamfi S, Krumdieck S (2011) Price, Environment and Security: Exploring Multi-modal Motivation in Voluntary Residential Peak Demand Response. Energy Policy 39: 2993-3004.    

Copyright Info: © 2016, Desley Vine, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Article outline

Show full outline
Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved