Smart Energy Systems & Emerging Domestic Energy Practices

This PhD project examines the ways in which householders shape - and are shaped by - smart energy systems.

Summary: With energy demand continuing to rise and the effects of climate change becoming increasingly apparent, there is mounting pressure to rethink conventional modes of energy production and consumption. A ‘sustainable energy transition’ presents a vision of the future that is low-carbon and more decentralised than the carbon-intensive and centralised system that is dominant today. ICT-enhanced energy technologies, such as smart meters and smart grids, are expected to facilitate this transition. This PhD project focusses on the ways in which householders start making use of smart energy technologies and new information flows. How can - and do - householders contribute to a more sustainable and smart energy system? And what are the key opportunities and threats that come along with new forms of transparency, surveillance and control? To acquire a better understanding of these processes, a conceptual framework is employed around three sets of energy and information flows: flows between household members, flows between households and energy service providers, and flows between local or distant households. This framework serves as a basis for further research into the engagement of householders in smart energy systems.

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