What is energy know-how and how can it be shared and acquired by householders?

Burchell, K., Rettie, R. and Roberts, T.C. 2015. What is energy know-how and how can it be shared and acquired by householders? ECEEE Summer Study: First fuel now. Belambra Les Criques, Toulon/Hyères, France 01 - 06 Jun 2015 ECEEE.

TitleWhat is energy know-how and how can it be shared and acquired by householders?
AuthorsBurchell, K., Rettie, R. and Roberts, T.C.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

Our aim in this short paper is to contribute to conceptual, practical and policy discussions about the role of householder knowledge in the context of policy ambitions to reduce domestic energy consumption. More specifically, we are interested in the characteristics of this knowledge, the ways in which householders acquire such knowledge, and the kinds of activities and policies that might support this. Within this context, literacy approaches emphasise factual knowledge, cognitive reasoning, and ideal attitudes and behaviours; within this mainstream approach, education and communications are key policy recommendations. In contrast, know-how approaches are critical of literacy approaches and emphasise practical skills, experience and guidance. Key policy recommendations focus on tailored guidance delivered through activities such as demonstration homes and home audits. Smart Communities was a community action and action research project on energy demand reduction. The activities in the project drew on both literacy and know-how approaches, and the research methods focussed on in-depth interviews, a survey and informal interactions with project participants and partners. The project strongly supports the ideas that are expressed in the know-how literature, but also highlights the practical challenge of scaling-up activities such as home visits. Meanwhile, approaches that drew on literacy approaches produced less change, but were easier to implement at scale. In our discussion, we raise the need for know-how approaches to be more adequately supported in policy, and the need to investigate and experiment with novel approaches that would allow these activities to be scaled-up. In support of these objectives, we present a concise expression of the concept of energy know-how. In addition, we suggest that the know-how literature is perhaps overly critical of the literacy approach, and we discuss some ways in which literacy approaches can be more effective.

Keywordsenergy consumption, energy behaviour, knowledge, know-how
Year2015
ConferenceECEEE Summer Study: First fuel now
PublisherECEEE
Publisher's version9-048-15_Burchell.pdf
Publication dates
Completed01 Jun 2015
Journal citationpp. 1979-1990
ISSN2001-7960
Book titleECEEE Summer Study proceedings: First fuel now, 1–6 June 2015, Belambra Les Criques, Toulon/Hyères, France
ISBN9789198048278
Web address (URL)http://www.psi.org.uk/site/project_detail/smart_communities_working_together_to_save_energy

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