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Domesticating energy efficiency technologies: understanding the ‘adopter’ perspectives of UK homeowners in existing housing

Domesticating energy efficiency technologies: understanding the ‘adopter’ perspectives of UK homeowners in existing housing

Aiesha, Rosita (2016) Domesticating energy efficiency technologies: understanding the ‘adopter’ perspectives of UK homeowners in existing housing. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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The largescale adoption of energy efficiency technologies (EET) within existing housing stock presents a significant opportunity for the UK government to meet challenging climate change goals and reduce household energy consumption. However, despite the availability of innovative technologies and policy interventions, EET adoption rates remain low particularly within the UK’s large owner-occupier sector. Prevailing dominant academic discourses are preoccupied with identifying factors for non-adoption based on assumptions of economic rationality and technological efficiency. In contrast, the research approach in this thesis focuses on elucidating the reasons why a small proportion of homeowners have succeeded in adopting EET, and explains how they learn to live with and embed innovative EET into their everyday lives.

Using the conceptual lens of Domestication theory (DT) applied to the activities of early adopters of technology, this research provides a sociotechnical perspective of peoples everyday interactions with EET. The theoretical approach is interrogated through a qualitative methodology based on 26 semi-structured householder interviews. A two-tiered analysis is undertaken inclusive of both the material and symbolic dimensions of multiple technology adoption. This occurs through an unfolding domestication process both at the household and technology specific level. Findings highlight a dynamic, multifaceted and multidimensional process of domestication, which embodies practical, social, technical and aesthetic values. In particular, it is concluded that domestication of technologies occurs simultaneously alongside a broader continuous process of household change that contributes to energy efficient sociotechnical re-configuration. The specific nature of sociotechnical interactions can support, speed-up or slow down successful domestication of EET.

This research makes a unique contribution to academic understandings of DT and offers scope for its theoretical modification. In addition, it contributes to debates on the interaction between sustainability policy, energy efficiency technologies, homeowners' every day experiences and domestic practices. Finally, more detailed elucidation of the dynamic four phase domestication model can contribute to achieving wider diffusion of household energy efficient technologies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Energy efficiency technologies (EET); EET adoption; domestication theory; sustainable housing; energy policy; green consumer; retrofitting; thermal comfort;
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
T Technology > TH Building construction
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design (DES)
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 01:38

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