Advertisement

Shifting Home Energy Consumption Through a Holistic Understanding of the Home System of Practice

  • Christine EonEmail author
  • Jessica Breadsell
  • Gregory Morrison
  • Joshua Byrne
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter describes the concept of the home system of practice, which can be used to provide a deeper understanding of the social system of the home and inform long-term solutions for enabling domestic energy reduction. More traditional methods have attempted to persuade occupants to change behaviour through the use of information campaigns and feedback technology. However, these interventions are usually short lived as they ignore the underlying reasons for practices to occur. A more effective solution is through practice-oriented design, which co-creates innovative technology with the user. In addition, the emergence and use of automated technology enables practices to act independently of the user. Yet, the success of automation is also reliant on an understanding of the home system of practice, occupant needs and skills.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the CRC for Low Carbon Living Ltd supported by the Cooperative Research Centres program, an Australian Government initiative.

References

  1. Aarts, H, Verplanken, B & Van Knippenberg, A 1998, ‘Predicting behavior from actions in the past: repeated decision making or a matter of habit?’ Journal of Applied Social Psychology, vol. 28, pp. 1355–1374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abrahamse, W, Steg, L, Vlek, C & Rothengatter, T 2005, ‘A review of intervention studies aimed at household energy conservation’, Journal of Environmental Psychology, vol. 25, pp. 273–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ajzen, I 1991, ‘The theory of planned behavior’, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, vol. 50, pp. 179–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berry, S, Whaley, D, Saman, W & Davidson, K 2017, ‘Finding faults and influencing consumption: the role of in-home energy feedback displays in managing high-tech homes’, Energy Efficiency, vol. 10, pp. 787–807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Breadsell, J, Eon, C, Morrison, G & Kashima, Y 2019, ‘Interlocking practices and their influence in the home’, Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science.  https://doi.org/10.1177/2399808318824114.
  6. Brynjarsdottir, H, Kansson, M, Pierce, J, Baumer, EPS, Disalvo, C & Sengers, P 2012, ‘Sustainably unpersuaded: how persuasion narrows our vision of sustainability’. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, Austin, Texas, USA, pp. 947–956.Google Scholar
  7. Cialdini, RB, Kallgren, CA & Reno, RR 1991, ‘A focus theory of normative conduct: a theoretical refinement and reevaluation of the role of norms in human behavior’, in PZ Mark (ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology, Academic Press, San Diego, CA.Google Scholar
  8. Dolnicar, S & Hurlimann, A 2010, ‘Australians’ water conservation behaviours and attitudes’, Australasian Journal of Water Resources, vol. 14, pp. 43–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eon, C 2017, ‘The home system of practice’, PhD, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia.Google Scholar
  10. Eon, C, Breadsell, JK, Morrison, GM & Byrne, J 2018a, ‘The home as a system of practice and its implications for energy and water metabolism’, Sustainable Production and Consumption, vol. 13, pp. 48–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eon, C, Liu, X, Morrison, GM & Byrne, J 2018b, ‘Influencing energy and water use within a home system of practice’, Energy and Buildings, vol. 158, pp. 848–860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Eon, C, Morrison, GM & Byrne, J 2018c, ‘The influence of design and everyday practices on individual heating and cooling behaviour in residential homes’, Energy Efficiency, vol. 11, pp. 273–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Festinger, L 1957, A theory of cognitive dissonance, Row, Peterson and Company, Indiana, USA.Google Scholar
  14. Gram-Hanssen, K 2010, ‘Residential heat comfort practices: understanding users’, Building Research & Information, vol. 38, pp. 175–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gram-Hanssen, K 2014, ‘New needs for better understanding of household’s energy consumption—behaviour, lifestyle or practices?’ Architectural Engineering and Design Management, vol. 10, pp. 91–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gram-Hanssen, K, Heidenstrom, N, Vitterso, G, Madsen, LV & Jacobsen, MH 2017, ‘Selling and installing heat pumps: influencing household practices’, Building Research & Information, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 359–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hansen, AR 2016, ‘The social structure of heat consumption in Denmark: new interpretations from quantitative analysis’, Energy Research and Social Science, vol. 11, pp. 109–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hargreaves, T 2011, ‘Practice-ing behaviour change: applying social practice theory to pro-environmental behaviour change’, Journal of Consumer Culture, vol. 11, pp. 79–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hargreaves, T, Nye, M & Burgess, J 2013, ‘Keeping energy visible? Exploring how householders interact with feedback from smart energy monitors in the longer term’, Energy Policy, vol. 52, pp. 126–134.Google Scholar
  20. Hobman, EV, Stenner, K & Frederiks, ER 2017, ‘Exploring everyday energy usage practices in Australian households: a qualitative analysis’, Energies, vol. 10, no. 9, p. 1332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kuijer, L & De Jong, AM 2009, ‘Design as an instrument to bring about behavioral change’, in Proceedings of the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy-Energy Efficiency and Behaviour Conference.Google Scholar
  22. McKenzie-Mohr, D 2011, Fostering sustainable behavior: an introduction to community-based social marketing, New Society Publishers, New York, NY.Google Scholar
  23. Pettersen, IN, Verhulst, E, Valle Kinloch, R, Junghans, A & Berker, T 2017, ‘Ambitions at work: professional practices and the energy performance of non-residential buildings in Norway’, Energy Research & Social Science, vol. 32, pp. 112–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Røpke, I 2009, ‘Theories of practice—new inspiration for ecological economic studies on consumption’, Ecological Economics, vol. 68, no. 10, pp. 2490–2497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schatzki, TR 1996, Social practices: a Wittgensteinian approach to human activity and the social, Cambridge University Press, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Schatzki, T 2002, The site of the social, Pennsylvania State University Press, Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  27. Schultz, PW, Nolan, JM, Cialdini, RB, Goldstein, NJ & Griskevicius, V 2007, ‘The constructive, destructive, and reconstructive power of social norms’, Psychological Science, vol. 18, pp. 429–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Scott, K, Bakker, C & Quist, J 2012, ‘Designing change by living change’, Design Studies, vol. 33, pp. 279–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shove, E 2003, ‘Converging conventions of comfort, cleanliness and convenience’, Journal of Consumer Policy, vol. 26, pp. 395–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Shove, E, Pantzar, M & Watson, M 2012, The dynamics of social practice: everyday life and how it changes, Sage, London.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Shove, E, Watson, M, Hand, M & Ingram, J 2007, ‘The design of everyday life’, Berg, Oxford & New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Shove, E, Watson, M & Spurling, N 2015, ‘Conceptualizing connections: energy demand, infrastructures and social practices’, European Journal of Social Theory, vol. 18, pp. 274–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Smale, R, Van Vliet, B & Spaargaren, G 2017, ‘When social practices meet smart grids: flexibility, grid management, and domestic consumption in The Netherlands’, Energy Research and Social Science, vol. 34, pp. 132–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Southerton, D 2013, ‘Habits, routines and temporalities of consumption: from individual behaviours to the reproduction of everyday practices’, Time & Society, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 335–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Spurling, N, McMeekin, A, Shove, E, Southerton, D & Welch, D 2013, Interventions in practice: re-framing policy approaches to consumer behaviour, Sustainable Practices Research Group, <http://www.sprg.ac.uk/uploads/sprg-report-sept-2013.pdf>.
  36. Steg, L & Vlek, C 2009, ‘Encouraging pro-environmental behaviour: an integrative review and research agenda’, Journal of Environmental Psychology, vol. 29, pp. 309–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Stephenson, J, Barton, B, Carrington, G, Gnoth, D, Lawson, R & Thorsnes, P 2010, ‘Energy cultures: a framework for understanding energy behaviours’, Energy Policy, vol. 38, pp. 6120–6129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Strengers, Y & Nicholls, L 2017, ‘Convenience and energy consumption in the smart home of the future: Industry visions from Australia and beyond’, Energy Research & Social Science, vol. 32, pp. 86–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Stromback, J, Dromacque, C, Yassin, MH & Vaasaett, GETT 2011, ‘The potential of smart meter enabled programs to increase energy and systems efficiency: a mass pilot comparison’, short name: Empower Demand, Vaasa ETT, <https://esmig.eu/sites/default/files/2011.10.12_empower_demand_report_final.pdf>.
  40. Torriti, J 2017, ‘Understanding the timing of energy demand through time use data: time of the day dependence of social practices and energy demand’, Energy Research & Social Science, vol. 25, pp. 37–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Warde, A 2005, ‘Consumption and theories of practice’, Journal of Consumer Culture, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 131–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Watson, M 2012, ‘How theories of practice can inform transition to a decarbonised transport system’, Journal of Transport Geography, vol. 24, 488–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Watson, KJ 2015, ‘Understanding the role of building management in the low-energy performance of passive sustainable design: practices of natural ventilation in a UK office building’, Indoor and Built Environment, vol. 24, no. 7, pp. 999–1009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wolff, A, Weber, I, Gill, B, Schubert, J & Schneider, M 2017, ‘Tackling the interplay of occupants’ heating practices and building physics: insights from a German mixed methods study’, Energy Research and Social Science, vol. 32, pp. 65–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Eon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jessica Breadsell
    • 1
  • Gregory Morrison
    • 1
  • Joshua Byrne
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Design and the Built EnvironmentCurtin University Sustainability Policy InstitutePerthAustralia

Personalised recommendations