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Efficiency Technology as a Political Act

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Otherpeer-review

Publication date1/05/2022
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventTowards a Material Ethics of Computing: Addressing the Uneven Environmental Stakes of Digital Infrastructures, CHI 2022 hybrid workshop - Hybrid: New Orleans, LA, US and online, New Orleans, United States
Duration: 1/05/2022 → …
Conference number: CHI 2022


WorkshopTowards a Material Ethics of Computing
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period1/05/22 → …
Internet address


Regarding technology simply as tools, products or devices can fail to capture that it has a political dimension too. Especially in areas like sustainability that are highly political themselves, it can be tempting to frame technology as politically neutral. Drawing on my background and research in Sustainable HCI (SHCI) in general and energy systems in particular, I focus on efficiency technology, i.e. technology that is designed to promote energy efficiency, to argue that it would be a misconception to classify it as apolitical. Rather, I suggest that efficiency technology is also a political act, an unspoken articulation to continue ‘business as usual’—in a way that doesn’t invite discussion; unless it’s helping people to live under specified constraints like carbon taxes or extraction caps.