Accomplishing information and change in a smart grid pilot: : Linking domestic practices with policy interventions

Naus, J.; Horst, H.M. van der


Behind the roll-out of smart metering technologies lies a belief that personalised, fact-based information enhances energy awareness and allows consumers to modify their behaviour.
Amongst others, practice theoretical accounts have shown that this belief stems from a linear, individualistic and unrealistic interpretation of behaviour change. However, in emphasising how energy use is grounded in socio-material realities of everyday life, practice-based studies have not fully considered the role and potential of information in reconfiguring domestic practices. This article takes a smart grid pilot project in the Netherlands as a case to analyse the interrelatedness of policy interventions, information flows and domestic practices.We argue that the effects of policy interventions on domestic practices can be better understood when seen as part of a configuration of heterogeneous practices. This helps in understanding when and how information is accomplished and put-to-work, and in identifying what can be done to improve smart grid interventions.