Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Energy-saving: It's a social thing

Date:
October 28, 2013
Source:
Keele University
Summary:
With energy bills again rising and the winter approaching, researchers in the UK have found a positive way of helping householders to keep their energy costs down and houses warm.

With energy bills again rising and the winter approaching, researchers from Keele University in the UK have found a positive way of helping householders to keep their energy costs down and houses warm.

Energy prices will continue to rise for British consumers and the government can do little about it, Energy Secretary Ed Davey has warned. The Lib Dem minister told the BBC he accepted that prices would go up, and some of the costs causing the rises were 'impossible to avoid'.

A multidisciplinary team of scientists and social scientists at Keele, headed by Professor Andrew Dobson, has worked for two years with households in Shrewsbury and Newcastle-under-Lyme in the UK on low-cost and low-tech approaches to saving energy.

The Reducing Energy Consumption through Community Knowledge Networks (RECCKN) project team found that consumers are sceptical of the commercial motives of the UK's Big Six energy companies, and are much more likely to trust advice that comes from friends, family, local companies and organisations, and the third sector.

Face-to-face discussion helps to cut through the often confusing range of offers and information with which consumers are bombarded, and the chance to ask questions provides the detailed advice and reassurance often absent from leaflets and other forms of written advice. As one householder commented, 'It's a minefield out there, so you end up doing nothing because there is so much choice'.

Research showed that householders are often far more knowledgeable than they realise about ways of saving energy. However, used to deferring to 'experts', they underestimate both their own skills and practices and their capacity to communicate them to others.

Professor Dobson said that, 'The key to releasing this potential lies in making energy use 'discussable' at convivial meetings where citizens can exchange tips and knowledge. As well as producing good energy outcomes, we found that these meetings increase confidence and the motivation to save energy, empower citizens, and increase community capacity.'

One participant commented, 'A face-to-face sharing of tips and ideas is really useful -- there is something about being in a group and sharing the information'.

Participants speak for themselves in a 14-minute video -- 'Energy-saving: it's a social thing' -- that can be seen here: http://www.recckn.org.uk/videos.htm

With energy and increasing pressure on household incomes at the top of the political agenda the RECCKN project is an indispensable resource for policy makers, citizens and consumers alike. Some of the findings from the RECCKN project and the implications for energy policy will shortly be published in a paper in the journal Energy Policy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Keele University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Keele University. "Energy-saving: It's a social thing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028090416.htm>.
Keele University. (2013, October 28). Energy-saving: It's a social thing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028090416.htm
Keele University. "Energy-saving: It's a social thing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028090416.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) Over 53 tons of rotting fish have been removed from Lake Cajititlan in western Jalisco state. Authorities say that the thousands of fish did not die of natural causes. (Sep. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins