Conference Programme

For videos of the conference presentations see Conference Video page and presentation slides at Conference Presentations page

Day 1: Wednesday 6th July 2016


9:30 – 10:20am: Keynote Kajsa Ellegård

“On the success of energy conservation in the household sector– a matter of daily activities at individual, household and aggregate levels”

Information campaigns on energy saving encourage individuals to invest in energy efficient white goods, go by public transportation, bike or walk. However, neither electricity use nor the car use decrease. What hinders people from saving electricity in their homes and refrain from going by car?
A time-geographic way to understand how activities and couplings in everyday life of individuals influence their opportunities to conserve energy is presented.

Energy conservation is not just an individual issue and there are different ways to share the performance of energy demanding activities in households. More attention should be payed to the couplings between individuals in the households and between individuals and the appliances they use when performing activities. The location of activities is as important. More knowledge is needed about the division of labor in households to tailor information to the actual performers.

The aggregate activity pattern of individuals in a society reveals culturally spread habits regarding when energy consuming activities are performed. From the aggregate activity pattern the energy use can be modelled for various domestic activities and transportation activities, revealing the width of the issue.

There is a double responsibility as regards energy conservation: On one hand, public and private decision makers are responsible for creating the necessary prerequisites, regulations, systems and infrastructures. On the other hand, the individuals in their households are responsible for performing activities according to the regulations, systems and infrastructures that favor energy efficiency and conservation. Energy conservation is a responsibility is both on individual and structural levels.

For more information about Professor Ellesgard’s research agenda, please view her university webpage.

10:20 – 11:10am:  Determinants of energy demand

Ben Wooliscroft “What would a “true” Energy Cultures Segmentation look like?”

Ben Anderson “Using Time Use Data To Trace ‘Energy Practices’ Through Time.”



11.30 – 12:45pm:  Householder perspectives on energy

Marcos Pelenur “Energy perspectives: a study investigating household viewpoints towards domestic energy consumption in Manchester and Cardiff.”

Fatima McKague “Fuel poverty in the context of Energy Cultures framework – insights from New Zealand.”

Lindsey McCarthy “Energy (In)Efficiency: Exploring what Tenants expect and endure in the Private Rented Sector in England.”



1:50 – 2:40pm: Keynote Malcolm McCulloch

“Energy Cultures applied to Energy for Development”

With 1.3 billion without access to modern energy services (electricity) the United Nations has spearheaded a campaign to enable every person on the planet to have ready access to sustainable energy by 2030.

The aim of the Solar Nano-grid Project (SONG) is to provide energy for economic development, to address some of the limitations of the roll out of previous SHS in rural Kenya and Bangladesh. It is evident that these systems were largely implemented without an understanding of the socio-economic needs and aspirations of the end users, and the role that energy can play in transitioning to energy futures. In contrast a solar nano-grid is an interconnected system of solar arrays to provide electricity on a household level, and power for additional services in the community. The higher power outputs provide opportunities for economic enhancement through the enabling of income inducing activities.

In this context the energy cultures framework provides a useful analytical tool to understand the communities norms, aspirations and practices to enable a smooth, but radical transition in material culture.

For more information about Professor McCulloch’s research agenda, please view his university webpage.

2:40 – 3:30pm: Energy transitions from the grass roots up

Sara Walton “Lighting in Vanuatu: understanding rapid technological change.”

Amanda Thomas  “Energy transitions from the grassroots up: opportunities and barriers to oil free and climate justice groups in Aotearoa New Zealand.”



3:55 – 5:30pm: Energy improvements in the residential setting

Mari Martiskainen “Low energy housing transition in the UK– the role of intermediaries in innovation processes.”

Kimberley O’Sullivan “Youthful energy: finding opportunities for improving thermal comfort through energy transition with youth-led participatory research.”

Phillipa Watson “Getting Bill-Smart: Outcomes of an energy efficiency project for low income householders in Tasmania.”

Ebru Ergoz Karahan “The Relation between the Occupant Behaviour, Energy Efficiency and the Residential Building Characteristics: Case of Turkey.”


Day 2: Thursday 7th July 2016



9:00 – 9:50am: Keynote Benjamin Sovacool

“The Nordic Low-Carbon Transition: Implications and Insights for Researchers and Practitioners”

The five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have aggressive climate and energy policies in place and have already emerged to be leaders in renewable energy. Denmark is renowned for its pioneering use of wind energy, Finland and Sweden bioenergy, Norway hydroelectricity and Iceland geothermal.  This presentation investigates the technological and policy pathways necessary for these five countries to achieve their low carbon goals. It argues that a concerted effort must be made to (1) promote renewable forms of electricity including bioenergy, wind energy, hydroelectricity, geothermal and solar; (2) shift to more sustainable forms of transport such as electric vehicles and biofuel; (3) further improve the energy efficiency of buildings; and (4) adopt carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies for industry. It concludes with implications for what such transition pathways mean for both energy researchers and energy planners.

For more information about Professor Sovacool’s research agenda, please view his university webpage.

9:50 – 11:05am: New models of the grid

Joris Suppers “Energy Behaviour in a Community of Smart Homes.”

Espen Moe “Renewable energy and the politics of grid-line expansion.”

Rebecca Ford Prosumer Energy Culture and a Fractal Like Grid.”



11.25 – 1:00pm:  Mobility cultures

Barry Barton “Electric Vehicles, Conventional Vehicles and Climate Change Policy.”

John Williams “A tale of two cities: Influences on cycling to high school in Dunedin and Christchurch.”

Pascale Blyth “A Planning Framework for Self-Driving Mobility Transitions: A Case-Study of Finland.”

Debbie Hopkins “ A qualitative investigation of urban freight delivery in Aotearoa New Zealand ”



1:45 – 2:35pm: Janet Stephenson

Energy Cultures as an integrative framework.”

The transition to a sustainable energy future will involve widespread modifications to current systems of supply, transformation and consumption of energy. The overwhelming focus on technology-driven change belies the complexity of such a socio-technical transition. Change involves disruptions to the established patterns of choices and behaviours of actors across all sectors and at all scales, from households to business to governments, all of which are integrally linked and cross-influential. Achieving the energy transition is a complex (and probably ‘wicked’) problem that will need productive collaborations between researchers from multiple disciplines, as well as effective collaborations between researchers, communities, businesses and governments. Each of these will come to the table with a different set of understandings of the problem, so we need integrative models (or ‘way of thinking’) that provide a common basis for engaging on the problem and working together to leverage the change process.

In this talk I outline eight desirable characteristics of an integrative model: 1) contextually agnostic; 2) applicable at multiple scales; 3) reflective of heterogeneity; 4) complementary to relevant theories of socio-technical change; 5) supporting multiple methods of inquiry; 6) accessible and understandable to lay people; 7) generalizable; and 8) transdisciplinary. I discuss these characteristics in relation to the Energy Cultures framework, using examples of applications of the framework to date. I conclude by discussing how the framework, as an integrative model, can assist in policy development for energy transitions.

2:35 – 3:30pm: Creating behaviour change

Sea Rotmann “Helping the Behaviour Changers – or how to create systemic change. “

Paul Thorsnes “ Helping householders choose: variation in preferences for aspects of energy-efficiency improvements.”



3:50 – 4:45pm: Lightning session – Applications of the Energy Cultures Framework

Michelle Scott “Motivating more efficient driving practices

Mary Jo Lavelle “Adopting the energy cultures framework to promote pro-environmental behavioural change on the island of Ireland.”

Scott Willis “Creating Cosy Homes.

John Hancock  “The Energy Cultures Framework as a way of getting your head around New Zealand’s market-led approach to implementing the smart grid.”

David Rees “64,000 EVs by 2021: A Plausible Scenario?