The dynamics of energy use in daily life

Timeline: May 2015 – May 2017

Our team includes: Veronique Beillan, Sylvie Douzou, Allison Hui, Dominique Le Roux, Isabelle Moussaoui, Magali Pierre, Gordon Walker

Some of our key questions include:

  • What units and categories of analysis are better attuned to the flow of daily life?
  • How do selections of high and low energy demanding practices fit together?
  • And how this varies amongst different demographic groups?

And these are some of the ideas we are engaging with:

In focusing on end use practices we recognise that familiar categories of policy and analysis (e.g. home, work and leisure) do not map on to everyday experience: ‘work’ can be done at home and on the move, and leisure occurs in many sites and situations. Following Theme 1, this project, led by EDF R&D, examines the changing relation between different end use practices from the point of view of households and their members. One aim is to establish units and categories of analysis that are better attuned to the flow of daily life. A second is to present and compare ‘real life’ scenarios and combinations of energy-use and mobility, showing how ‘portfolios’ of high and low energy demanding practices fit together, and how this changes and varies amongst different demographic groups, including single person households. The third is to explain and better understand methods of sequencing and the relative fixity (in time, and space) of the many end use practices of which daily life and energy demand is made.

This project is in two stages. The first involves further analysis of qualitative research undertaken by EDF R&D over the last decade, including face to face interviews conducted in France as part of ENERGYHAB (Energy Consumption, from the Residence to the City: Social, Technical, and Economic Aspects) and the qualitative database, VERBATIM. This will inform new data collection in the UK, mirrored by a parallel study in France, to permit detailed cross-cultural analysis.

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