Local authority interventions in the domestic sector and the role of social networks: a case study from the city of Leeds.

Catherine Bale, Nick McCullen, Timothy Foxon, Alastair Rucklidge, William Gale

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Abstract

Decisions on energy-related interventions (e.g. the installation of an energy-efficient technology in council-owned homes, or a city-wide energy awareness programme) made at the local authority level are usually assessed on the basis of cost-benefit analyses based on the expected savings (cost and CO2) resulting from implementation of the intervention. Wider social shaping of the energy choices of householders is often overlooked – for example, the influence of other members of their social networks.

We apply complex dynamical models of behaviour and interactions of householders to investigate energy technology uptake or energy-efficient behaviour through the social networks connecting the householders. We can then compare the effectiveness of different roll-out strategies available to Leeds City Council (CC) for the provision of energy efficiency measures – for example, street-by-street installation versus incentives and word-of-mouth propagation.
In this paper, we set out a theoretical and empirical methodology for investigating
which roll-out strategies present the most effective routes for the delivery of energy reduction interventions to households within the city of Leeds. We present the insights resulting from the Leeds case study into the links between the local authority and domestic energy users and the social networks in which the latter operate.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2011
EventEnergy and People: Futures, complexity and challenges - Oxford, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Sep 201221 Sep 2012

Conference

ConferenceEnergy and People: Futures, complexity and challenges
CountryUK United Kingdom
CityOxford
Period20/09/1221/09/12

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