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Title: From cookstoves to smart homes : examining the social dynamics of household energy behaviour
Author: Furszyfer Del Rio, Dylan Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 9357 2621
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2020
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This PhD examines the social dynamics of household energy behaviour through a mixed methods approach. First, through an extensive literature review analysis from 2013 to 2017, it overviews the current knowledge to identify what behaviour change techniques are the most successful for the uptake and maintained use of improved cookstoves. This research also addresses a set of policy recommendations and assesses academic gaps in the literature. Second, based on an original dataset involving expert interviews, site visits to retailers, and a comprehensive review of the literature, this PhD examines the promises and perils of smart home technologies. Drawing on original data collected in the United Kingdom, it later examines current definitions of smart homes and provides 267 specific options commercially available from 113 companies to provide a new classification of smart technology, structured into 13 categories. Then, this PhD situates these technology categories alongside six levels of smartness, from basic or traditional homes to fully automated and sentient homes. Under this benchmark, it discusses 13 distinct benefits and 17 risks and barriers for smart homes to introduce seven policy recommendations and 15 emerging business models. Third, through a rigorous mixed methods research design, comprised of a nationally representative survey in the United Kingdom (n=1,032) and focus groups in London, Manchester, and Surrey (n=18 respondents) this thesis identifies the gendered nature of smart homes across five different dimensions (1) knowledge, awareness, and adoption patterns; (2) housekeeping and daily domestic life; (3) environmental sustainability; (4) trust and risk tolerance; and (5) emotions and feelings. Additionally, this research explores the extent that smart home technologies can act as potential enablers of domestic abuse and as enablers of conflict within households. It concludes with policy implications as well as how these findings point the way towards future research.
Supervisor: Makuch, Karen ; Sovacool, Benjamin Sponsor: Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral