Understanding how and why energy is used in homes is particularly important as consumers start to play a more dynamic role in the energy system, either by actively managing their demand or through generating (and selling) their own electricity. Both globally and within New Zealand, the main source of data for generating insight into household demand comes from smart meters, but the coarse granularity of this data limits the insights it can provide.
To dig a little deeper into household demand, the GREEN Grid project is undertaking research to explore the variety of different appliances Kiwis own, how we use these appliances in our homes, and the impact that this use has on power demand.
This involves a national household survey (undertaken in conjunction with the Energy Cultures 2 project) of over 2000 homes to explore the sorts of appliances owned and used, the typical patterns of use for heating, water heating, and laundry appliances, as well as exploring how appliance ownership is changing over time.
For a subset of homes we are also rolling out Time Use Diaries to explore how all household members interact with energy consuming technologies in their homes, and to probe the drivers of particular energy behaviours.
For these homes we are also conducting appliance audits, and kitting them up with energy monitoring devices to collect information about how their appliances draw power when in use.
Together, these four different data sources are providing a rich insight into household demand.
Watch this space for a new report.