Unlocking Energy-Intensive Habits

Speaker(s): 
Date: 
October 10, 2013 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: 
90-3122
Seminar Host/Point of Contact: 

The specter of climate change has increased the urgency for a rapid reduction in the energy intensity of everyday consumption. In rich countries such as those of Europe and North America, energy-intensive habits have formed and provide resistance to change in the domains of space heating and cooling comfort, cleaning, food (shopping, storing, preparing) and transport. I claim that unlocking habits is essential to deep changes, but that they have not been given serious attention in energy saving theory and policy. There is an urgent need for a more robust theory of consumption that addresses how habits form, how they change and how policy can contribute to unlocking and reforming habits that are less energy intensive and environmentally intrusive.

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