A socio-technical investigation into the electrical end use patterns of information, communication and entertainment technologies in UK homes.
Information, communication and entertainment (ICE) appliances are consumer electronics and information and communication technologies (ICT). Forecasts suggest that ICE appliance use will soon become the most significant domestic electricity end-use in the UK. Knowledge concerning “real world” ICE electricity consumption is currently limited and it has been suggested that this deficiency could lead to ineffective policy programmes. This socio-technical study measured ICE appliance electricity consumption in fourteen UK households’ and undertook household interviews to explore the behavioural factors that influenced the measurements recorded. The interviews were informed by two social psychology theories: (i) Triandis’ (1977) Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour (TIB); (ii) Rogers’ (2003) Diffusion of Innovations Theory (DIT). The study supports the position that ICE appliance use and standby power consumption are significant electricity end-uses in UK homes. Key appliances that contributed to the sample’s average electricity consumption are identified. Inconspicuous electricity consumption from network appliances is an issue of particular concern due to policy gaps. The interviews found that a range of internal and external factors influenced ICE appliance use. Behavioural intentions and habits were found to be facilitated or impeded by personal ability, knowledge and physical constraints. Social structures and expectations also supported the more expansive ownership and use of ICE appliances and energy consumption was an issue largely excluded from adoption decisions. The findings imply that a multifaceted approach is required to reduce household ICE appliance electricity consumption. This study supports the recent implementation of minimum energy performance standards and provides further recommendations that include: (i) improved product design; (ii) the expansion of mandatory energy labelling; (iii) improved electricity consumption feedback in UK homes; (iv) the use of behaviour change campaigns; (v) the integration of ICE appliance energy saving objectives into UK policies.
- PhD