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Practicing energy prosumption: using unsolicited online data to reveal the everyday realities of solar thermal panels in the United Kingdom

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Energy Research and Social Science
Volume34
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)191-199
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date9/08/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

International targets for emissions reduction are encouraging increasingly more households to become energy producers. We present analysis of Mumsnet, a UK online discussion forum (19 million visits/month), to explore unsolicited accounts of these energy prosumers to understand their motivation and experience of installing and living with one type of microgeneration technology: solar thermal panels for hot water. In so doing, we challenge research and policy approaches that assume financial and environmental motivations as dominant in householder uptake of microgeneration technology. We draw attention to the wider reality within which energy prosumption practices are performed, how they coincide with other home improvements, and how they relate to expectations about modern lifestyles. To conclude, we discuss the implications of this for policy.

Bibliographic note

This work was funded by Economic and Social Research Council [grant number ES/K009516/1].