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Title: Quantification and prioritisation of factors influencing decision making in domestic energy use
Author: Doyle, Conor
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 3394
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2015
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An investigation was carried out to quantify and prioritise the importance of factors that influence energy related decisions in Northern Ireland households. This was achieved by using the largest energy use population survey to date in Northern Ireland, analysis of actual electricity consumption data and analysis using analytical hierarchical modelling. The use of Analytical Hierarchical modelling has been developed for this investigation and has provided a novel way of quantifying the importance of various factors that influence household energy use. 85% of households are interested in reducing their energy use motivated mainly by a desire to save money (86%); by comparison, only 9% are interested in reducing their carbon footprint and 5% due to a sense of obligation. The per person electricity consumption by apartment dwellers was the smallest compared to households in other types of homes. Those in the rental group found measures where there is a sacrifice in comfort or potential well-being were more acceptable as a strategy to reduce energy use compared to owner occupiers, and the latter would prefer to invest in 'fit and forget' measures. Sacrificial measures were the last acceptable strategy for the older age bracket, identifying behavioural change measures as the most acceptable strategy. The group as a whole prioritised the importance of energy related considerations (with the quantified weightings shown in brackets) and are as follows: implementing measures that will reduce household running costs (22.4%); measures with minimal maintenance requirements (11.4%); measures that will improve comfort (10.4%); lower cost measures (10.4%); measures that will bring added convenience (10.4%); measures that will modernise the home (10.4%); measures with a short payback period (10%); measures that will cause minimum disruption during installation (9.3%); and measures that will contribute to a low carbon footprint (5.4%). Low carbon footprint is the least important consideration. 9% were motivated by a need to reduce their carbon footprint. When considered in isolation, this group found the need to lower their carbon footprint a high priority, with a weighting of 15.5% the second most important consideration after the need to reduce household running costs, which had a weighting of 16%. The promotion of multi-generational households and encouraging downsizing from large under-occupied homes to more size appropriate housing units combined with specific legislation requiring a minimum standard of energy efficiency for homes in the private rented sector is needed, in light of the high levels of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available