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Energy Cutures

About Energy Cutures

New Zealand's transport and business sectors have the greatest potential for significant energy savings, and increased competitiveness through energy efficiency. Households also have much to gain through warmer, drier homes and energy savings. Energy Cultures 2 is a 4-year research project to develop the knowledge and tools to achieve these changes.

I got 99 problems, but the planet ain’t one

This blog is to introduce the research I am doing.  This research came about after a recent survey, undertaken by Energy Cultures into small and medium businesses in New Zealand, identified (among other things) that many small business owners would not be interested in changing the way they use energy even if they would not

Recruiting homeowners and businesses for solarlab initiative

The Centre for Sustainability has joined forces with solarcity to establish the National Solar Laboratory (solarlab).  Its mission: to conduct a comprehensive study into household solar energy usage to better inform and guide the nation towards a sustainable energy future.

solarcity’s multi-year initiative will explore how adopting photovoltaic systems (PV) and

Bleak House: Dickensian living conditions in 21st century England

As many previous Energy Cultures bloggers have noted, Dunedin suffers from some very energy inefficient housing which in turn causes financial and health related problems for occupants.  I’m here in Dunedin for a month to do a study looking at why private landlords in the city tend not to invest in making their properties more efficient, warm

Fuel poverty research supported by postgraduate scholarship


Energy Cultures PhD student Fatima McKague has been awarded the Todd Foundation Postgraduate Scholarship in Energy Research to investigate fuel poverty in New Zealand.

Ms McKague will use the scholarship, which is worth $25,000 scholarship per annum for up to three years, to develop a new measure of

Could electric cars be bad for the environment?

The world it seems is falling in love with electric vehicles. While there is still a small base they are growing, both in numbers and variety. There is significant growth in electric vehicles, from small cars to big SUV’s and high performance sports cars, from electric bikes to scooters. They are also getting cheaper, and

New Zealand Herald: Can solar fit into the energy mix?

The GREEN Grid project at the University of Canterbury’s Electrical Power Engineering Centre (EPEC) is an attempt to investigate the impact of photovoltaic (PV) solar power generation on low and medium voltage distribution networks. Colleagues from Canterbury’s department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Otago University’s marketing department and Centre for Sustainability.

Driving change: Otago Daily Times

New Zealand could park a significant chunk of its carbon emissions by focusing on transport, but it’s a journey that’s only just beginning Tom McKinlay reports.

Interviewed are Dr Janet Stephenson, director of the University of Otago’s Centre for Sustainability and one of the authors of  ‘

Clean Disruption in Transport

Last week one of our collaborators, Mighty River Power sponsored an Auckland Council event with the key speaker Tony Seba a lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Stanford University.  This provocative presentation about Clean Disruption in Transport highlights some interesting trends and his conclusions about where public / private transport is heading (and in his view heading there