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Visualizing patterns of energy use in households - the activity approach
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (Teknik i vardag och samhälle)
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (Teknik i vardag och samhälle)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4133-1204
2009 (English)In: eceee 2009 Summer Study: Act! Innovate! Deliver! Reducing energy demand sustainably, 2009Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to present an activity approach on energy use in households. The activity approach emanates from time-geography (Hägerstrand 1985, 1974) and forms the basis of VISUAL-TimePAcTS (Vrotsou, Ellegård & Cooper 2007, Ellegård & Cooper 2004), a software developed to visualize householders’ complex everyday life activity patterns, here applied with special reference to the equally complex patterns of energy use. The visualizations show activity patterns on individual, household as well as aggregate levels. We show how national time use surveys – by utilising VISUAL-TimePAcTS – can be used on aggregate levels to discern energy consuming activity patterns in individuals’ activity contexts. In doing so, the activity approach may contribute to a deeper understanding of the relation between the citizens’ everyday activities and energy consumption. Based on a qualitative household study (Karlsson & Widén 2008) in which time-diaries, logbooks, interviews and VISUAL-TimePAcTS were used and a typology of basic use patterns (individual and collective) of electric appliances were developed, the applicability of the activity approach for the promotion of more energy efficient habits among householders is explained. The activity approach brings energy consuming activities to the fore, but how the energy demand on aggregate, household, and individual levels can be accounted for by means of estimations of the amount of energy consumed by various technologies (Widén et al 2008) is also described. Limitations and need for further development of the method are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
activities, energy saving, everyday life, patterns of energy use, time-geography
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-21414OAI: diva2:241260
Elanvändning i hushåll - hinder och incitament att spara el, Energimyndigheten
Available from: 2009-10-01 Created: 2009-10-01 Last updated: 2015-02-05

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Karlsson, KristinaEllegård, Kajsa
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Technology and Social ChangeFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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