Household energy use was the focus of our first 3 years of research in Energy Cultures 1.
In Energy Cultures 2 we are continuing to research New Zealand households and the ways in which they use energy. This involves a national household survey over more than 2000 households, gathering data on things like appliance use, everyday efficiency practices, and travel habits.
Some of our research is looking at the data already held in New Zealand agencies relating to households and their energy use, to reveal trends and identify where there are good opportunties for greater efficiencies.
We are also developing software that gives personalised energy advice to householders, with a particular focus on what people can do to use energy more effectively when they are renting or on a low income.
Later on in the project, we will also be developing a version of this software that provides personalised advice about everyday travel decisions.
Our previous research in Energy Cultures 1 showed that households were most likely to make positive changes if they had received advice from someone they trusted, or had support from their social network. A study trialled both approaches in different suburbs of Dunedin.