- Journal Article
Studying energy consumption through the lens of households is an increasingly popular research avenue. This paper focuses on residential end-user energy conservation. It describes an approach that combines energy modeling and in-depth interviews for communicating about energy use and revealing consumer preferences for change at different levels and intervention points. Expert knowledge was embodied in a computer model for householders that calculates an individual's current energy consumption and helps assess personal savings potentials, while also bringing in socio-technical and economic elements beyond the user's direct control. The paper gives a detailed account of this computer information tool developed for interviewing purposes. It then describes the interview guidelines, data analysis, and main results. In general, interview subjects overestimated the environmental friendliness of their lifestyles. After experience with the program, they tended to rate external (technological, societal) factors as somewhat stronger determinants of their consumption levels than personal (behavioral and household investment) factors, with the notable exception of mobility. Concerning long-term energy perspectives, the majority of subjects felt that society has the ability to make a collective choice towards significantly lower energy consumption levels. Interviewees confirmed that the software and interactive sessions helped them think more holistically about the personal, social, and technological dimensions of energy conservation. Lessons can be applied to the development of future energy communication tools. Show more
Journal / seriesEnergy Policy
Pages / Article No.
SubjectQualitative interviews; Energy modeling; Energy conservation
Organisational unit03262 - Bächtold, Werner
03472 - Professur für Feldtheorie (ehemalig)
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