Domestic IT use

Timeline: August 2014 – December 2016

Our team includes: Mike Hazas, Janine Morley

These are some of our key questions:

Informed by data on ICT ownership (Theme 1), this project focuses on three demand-critical aspects:

  • What infrastructures do these devices presume?
  • How do IT devices transform other practices, e.g. home shopping, planning trips, watching TV, and with what implications for energy demand?
  • How do IT devices, especially portable ones, shape where end use practices take place, and where energy is sourced?

And these are some of the ideas we want to develop:

Mike Hazas introduces some of the ideas this project will explore in relation to information technology and energy demand:

There is no indication that the proliferation of domestic IT/media is slowing (currently around 13% of UK household electricity consumption and 26% of electricity used for lighting/appliances in French homes). To actively manage demand associated with this new ‘era’ of electrification, we need to know how IT/media has become embedded, and how it has infiltrated, ‘individualised’ and transformed so many areas of practice. While the power draw of individual devices has decreased, the number installed has risen spectacularly: so much so that people often have several devices (smart phone, laptop, TV) running at once.  Households will complete diaries and be interviewed on two occasions. Some will be recruited for much closer investigation, using sensors, automatic logging and custom monitoring software to track the time use of specific technologies, computer applications and multimedia and to quantify the energy drawn. The sample will capture variation in terms of household composition (e.g. families, singles, and couples), age and income, and will be defined in collaboration with Project 3.3.

For more detailed information about how the project fits into the Demand Research Programme you can read the 13-page DEMAND research summary.

Featured results

Whilst the easiest way to browse our materials is via the Project 2.1 tag, we have collected a few key outputs below:

Key Articles

Key Dissemination Events