Transforming Lives and Regions

GC Energy1

Warm as Toast? Home Heating and Energy Use in the Illawarra

The Project

GC Energy2Heating accounts for more than a third of energy use across the Australian residential sector. Further, central heating is on the rise. This project starts the dialogue on encouraging people to reduce their home heating energy consumption.

It focuses on households considered to be higher income, where neither cost savings alone, nor traditional information campaigns promoting environmental benefits, are incentive enough to change some energy-intensive practises. Low income households tend to use less energy to save money, and are already targeted by governments and researchers to help address energy affordability.

As a University of Wollongong Global Challenges project team, we are a multidisciplinary team from human geography, engineering, marketing, accounting and supply chain management. We look at home heating energy use from a holistic approach and seek to identify potential innovative behaviour change strategies and the role of social marketing in achieving this change. This includes:

·  Initial research with higher income households in the Illawarra that have a substantial space heating system.

·  Engaging with the Illawarra community on cold days via Twitter.

·  Holding a workshop at the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre in August 2014 with a range of industry, policy, government and research professionals.

As a seed project at this stage our plan is to identify:

·  Partners with which to collaborate further. 

·  Particular heating practices and communications strategies to focus on in a solid social marketing campaign.

The Researchers

Warm As Toast_1This project brings together researchers from a range of backgrounds and faculties, including social science, business, marketing, and energy efficiency. 

Professor Lesley Head is the former Director of the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research and an Australian Laureate Fellow. 

Kate Roggeveen is a research assistant in the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research at UOW.

Professor Paul Cooper is the Director of the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre at UOW 

Professor Gordon Waitt is in the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research at UOW. 

Corinne Cortese is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Business at UOW. 

Alan Pomering is a lecturer in the Faculty of Business at UOW. 

Dr Natascha Klocker is a lecturer in the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research at UOW. 

Matthew Pepper is a lecturer in the Faculty of Business at UOW. 

Dr Eliza de Vet is a PhD candidate in the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research at UOW.

Katrina Skellern is undertaking a Masters degree in the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research at UOW. 

Last reviewed: 6 December, 2016

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