Dr Janet Stephenson

What we’re doing

We know from monthly electricity bills that electricity use varies enormously from household to household, even when houses and family types are similar.  But not much is known (either in New Zealand or internationally) about why there is such variability.  We can guess, but until we do research we can’t say for certain.

Measuring electricity use within homes in more detail can help show how this variability arises, but not why.  This is why we use time-use diaries to help us understand the behaviours that are driving electricity demand within individual households.

Time-use diaries are diaries kept by household members on what activities they do during a given day or days.  Our research has developed a time-use diary specifically for recording energy-related activities.

What we’ve found out so far

So far we have carried out time-use diary research with over 40 households, with all household members filling out daily diaries for an entire week.  This has given us an incredibly rich set of data that we are beginning to analyse to help understand what kinds of activities and routines are driving energy demand in these different households. Some initial findings are reported in a conference poster and conference presentation by Masters student Diana Ocampo.

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