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Who Is Behaving? Consequences for Energy Policy of Concept Confusion
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4133-1204
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7694-7397
2015 (English)In: Energies, ISSN 1996-1073, E-ISSN 1996-1073, Vol. 8, no 8, 7618-7637 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Policies to reduce household energy use usually target the individual customer. This is probably one explanation to the limited effect of many information policies, because two concepts with different meanings are confused: individual and household. In most contexts, an individual stands for what s/he does, but in the policy context, an individual is taken to represent the entire household. This is not problematic for a single-person household, but, in a multi-person household, activities performed by different household members influence the whole households energy use. This paper illuminates problems arising from confusing the concepts of household and individual when developing policies to reduce household energy use. Examples relate to indoor space heating and energy-intensive home-based activities. The results indicate that it is analytically simple to consider individuals at home, as well as their activities using electrical appliances contributing to heating, but much more complicated to take the whole household into consideration. Our model provides a basis for better-targeted information actions to reduce energy use. Also, empirically based models capturing variations between households with different activity patterns are important for developing policies resulting in reduced energy use for space heating in multi-person households.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG , 2015. Vol. 8, no 8, 7618-7637 p.
Keyword [en]
energy use; household; individual; consumer; indoor space heating; policy; energy conservation; time diaries; activities; information
National Category
Other Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121759DOI: 10.3390/en8087618ISI: 000360586600006OAI: diva2:859448

Funding Agencies|FORMAS-IQS; AB Stangastaden

Available from: 2015-10-07 Created: 2015-10-05 Last updated: 2015-10-27

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