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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

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

We have a long way to go

I came back from five months of research and study leave in November 2014, having spent the majority of the time in Vienna, Austria (a city of 1.8million with a much smaller footprint than Auckland). Austria is a long time member of the EU and has a climate with more extremes than New

Energy Cultures research impacts international energy security

Multidisciplinary research on energy is a hot topic internationally.  I’ve recently returned from a trip overseas to give presentations and work with other research teams in England, Ireland, Germany and Norway, and I spoke with a number of research groups where they have recently started to work collaboratively across disciplines.  They have huge interest in

Baby its cold…inside!

I want to tell you a story about energy. Most of us use energy without giving it a second thought – we switch on lights, turn on the heater, fill our cars with gas – we really don’t think about it much. But this story is not about most of us – it is about

Getting our houses to perform

In her post, Sally Blackwell reckons that “we are beginning to appreciate the value of warm, dry homes and … we are starting to understand and embrace energy efficiency”.  The widespread installation of ceiling insulation, heat pumps, ventilation systems and energy efficient lights certainly

Home performance: your house can do what?!

Sally Blackwell is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Sustainability investigating the role of ‘middle actors’ in the socio-technical transition to better performing housing. Middle actors include people such as builders, tradespeople, home performance advisors or architects and designers. Sally has a background in developing and delivering programmes to improve the performance of existing

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

Getting the message out about cosy homes.

We would all like to live in a cosy, energy efficient home, but the reality is that this is out of reach for many New Zealanders, with a large proportion of housing being either inadequately insulated or not insulated at all.

This is a serious concern, since the World Health Organisation recommends that homes be heated

Can businesses contribute to issues of energy?

People often hold the view that business and environmental objectives are in conflict. Certainly we see cases of businesses pillaging scarce resources for short term gain. It is easy to see how businesses can bring about harm due to their focus on profit and growth. This often results in public call for government level regulation