Using qualitative methods to understand non-technological aspects of domestic energy efficiency

AMBROSE, Aimee (2017). Using qualitative methods to understand non-technological aspects of domestic energy efficiency. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Abstract

The overall aim of the collected published works is to investigate how different policy interventions in the field of energy efficiency (including zero carbon homes, low carbon heat networks, and domestic energy efficiency schemes) are experienced and made sense of by a range of key actors. A further aim is to understand these interventions in the context of existing theories within the field of domestic energy efficiency including socio-technical theory and Actor Network Theory. More specifically, this research advances existing knowledge in the following areas: The nature of the socio-technical challenges encountered in the introduction of more energy efficient buildings, and the importance of achieving a balance between socially acceptable and technically optimal environments. (Papers 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8) The value of qualitative research in gaining a more nuanced understanding of our relationship with the home and the implications of this for domestic energy efficiency interventions and the design of low energy buildings (all papers). The influence of tenure as determinant of access to a more energy efficient home and in particular, the stubborn and complex barriers to achieving higher standards of energy performance within the private rented sector. (Papers 1, 2, 3 and 4) The significance of identity, setting and notions of home in the context of domestic energy efficiency interventions. (Papers 1 and 4) As these themes suggest, this PhD is not just concerned with carbon reduction and energy saving as technical objects, but as a way of life. More specifically, it considers the interactions between the two and contends that technical or policy instruments, no matter how sophisticated, cannot succeed if they are not compatible with our ways of life (and ways of doing business) or if our ways of life cannot be reasonably adapted to accommodate them.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2017 15:07
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2017 17:07
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15576

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