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Home Comfort & Energy Demand

PhD (2012-2016)

My PhD research centred on domestic energy and low-carbon living; investigating how lifestyle expectations influence, and are influenced, by the physical features of the home. This approach is informed by a growing body of literature on social practice theory and the importance of a socio-technical perspective. Thus, my research moves away from ideas of behaviour change, informed by social-psychology, to thinking more broadly about what energy is for, and in particular asking what comfort means in Scottish homes. Indeed, the meaning of comfort has become an important concept in order to critique the dominant techno-economic approach to meeting demand, yet this is mainly focused on thermal comfort and no research in this context has aimed to empirically study this concept. Thus, my research employed qualitative methods to ask about the meaning of comfort, including the use of household interviews, house tours and drawings. The research was based on speaking to residents of ‘low-carbon’ homes in Fife, Scotland. Read my PhD abstract or full thesis by clicking on these links.

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