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Children, parents and home energy use: Exploring motivations and limits to energy demand reduction

Fell, MJ; Chiu, LF; (2014) Children, parents and home energy use: Exploring motivations and limits to energy demand reduction. Energy Policy , 65 , Article C. 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.10.003. Green open access

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Abstract

While almost 30% of UK households include children, little research has attempted to present children's perspectives on home energy use. This study used focus groups with children and parents at two primary (elementary) schools in London, UK, to explore home energy use and energy feedback. Energy was found to be a little-discussed subject at home. Children derived more motivation to save energy from responsibility conferred by school activities than other (e.g. environmental) concerns, and some connected energy saving with dangers of using electricity (e.g. fire). Material and social constraints (e.g. access to outside space, parents' environmental attitudes) meant that it was sometimes difficult for children to save energy even when motivated. However, parents showed greater inclination to pay attention to energy saving when framed as supporting their child's learning than as a financial or environmental concern. Children were disinclined to reduce energy-consuming activities such as watching television, and while parents complained about children's energy use most saw it as a low priority issue. Policy implications of these findings are considered, and the approach employed is argued to be an effective way of investigating children's perceptions around energy use.

Type: Article
Title: Children, parents and home energy use: Exploring motivations and limits to energy demand reduction
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.10.003
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2013.10.003
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Children; Home energy use; Energy feedback
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1460873
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