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Visualizing energy consumption activities as a tool for developing effective policy
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (TEVS)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7694-7397
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4133-1204
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Consumer Studies, ISSN 1470-6423, E-ISSN 1470-6431, Vol. 35, no 2, 171-179 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Analyzing and understanding energy consumption from the household activity perspective is vital for developing policy that promotes sustainable everyday life. Doing so entails learning how to connect policy with household activities and everyday life.

We use a time-geographic visualization to analyze several dimensions of everyday life as a totality. From household members’ time diaries, we can analyze and learn about when, where and what energy-related activities occur in the household, involving what household members are engaged and in what wider social context activities are performed. We discuss the importance of relating policy analysis to everyday household activities to make policy relevant to households. Time diaries reveal differences and interdependencies in activity patterns between household members and between individuals in a population classified by factors such as gender, age and household composition. The diaries provide data to visualize activity patterns and identify individual households’ use of electric appliances and need for light and heating. To capture electricity use as it occurs, we developed the VISUAL-TimePAcTS/energy use software to track the relationship between activities, appliance use and electricity consumption. This tool helps deepen discussions of the consequences of everyday household doings for energy consumption and climate change. Time diaries also help households reflect on daily life in relation to energy consumption, giving households feedback that is direct and relevant since it refers to self-reported activities. This is the starting point for discussions of how activities can change.

Time geographic visualizations of diaries complement policy research by recognizing the diversity of everyday life of households. Instead of analyzing how habits, incremental decisions and non-decisions are made by grassroots bureaucrats, we suggest broadening the perspective to include how individuals’ everyday activities and restrictions influence policy formation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell , 2011. Vol. 35, no 2, 171-179 p.
Keyword [en]
Policy, household, time diary, visualization, energy, feedback
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-66494DOI: 10.1111/j.1470-6431.2010.00974.xISI: 000287311000009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-66494DiVA: diva2:404665
Projects
Energibeteende i hushåll - en arena för förändring
Note
This is the authors’ version of the following article: Jenny Palm and Kajsa Ellegård, Visualizing energy consumption activities as a tool for developing effective policy, 2011, International Journal of Consumer Studies, (35), 2, 171-179. which has been published in final form at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1470-6431.2010.00974.x Copyright: Blackwell Publishing Ltd http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Brand/id-35.html Available from: 2011-03-17 Created: 2011-03-17 Last updated: 2015-02-05Bibliographically approved

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