A number of our parallel presenters have written blogs on their research topics. Some have produced videos to go with them. We will be publishing these on a fortnightly basis in the run up to the conference. They cover a wide range of topic areas from Heat Solutions, Home Energy Retrofits, Local Energy Markets and Smart Meters.
The third in our blog series is by Tina Fawcett, from the Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University on the rebound effect.
Tina has worked in energy and energy policy research for twenty years. She investigates energy use by households and organisations, and uses a multi-disciplinary approach to understand current patterns of use and to identify opportunities and policies for reducing energy use and carbon emissions. Her work is funded by UKERC, the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions and other EU and UK sources.
Tina’s blog discusses the limits of the rebound effect, which her conference paper will examine in more detail, explaining why energy efficiency is not a waste of time.
Why should we bother discovering what people actually want from the energy system? We need to change how we generate, transport and use energy to decarbonise and tackle climate change. There are many options. The choices made in each area and by every household have different implications for how people will be able to use energy in the future to get comfortable, move around and so on.In the end, whether by taxation or through their bills, people will pay for transforming the energy system. This raises challenging questions:
How can businesses design energy products and services consumers will want to pay for?
How can Governments introduce low carbon policies that citizens will support?
How can engineers build a system that will deliver reliable, affordable and low carbon energy?
There is a growing consensus that we need to know what people want from energy to provide the answers. The only other question is, how can we find out?