Energy Biographies Case Sites
In order to explore how energy demand might vary across a range of contexts, the Energy Biographies project involves case sites in different areas of the UK.
Recruiting participants in different case site areas provides the opportunity for some comparisons within each area whilst also enabling us to explore how participants may relate to and experience interventions in different ways according to their own lives, experiences and views.
The case sites span a continuum from ‘mainstream’ social contexts, where existing demand reduction interventions are present but do not feature as central to participants’ current everyday activities, to ‘niche’, which involve substantial community sustainability and energy reduction innovations.
At the extreme end of the spectrum our niche site is Lammas Low Impact Initiatives in Pembrokeshire; the Tir y Gafel Ecovillage was a winner of one of the Department of Energy and Climate Change Low Carbon Communities Challenge (LCCC) awards.
Our mainstream site involves staff sampled from the Royal Free Hospital (RFH) in London.
The RFH has made some interventions to reduce the energy demand of the hospital but on the whole the interventions are not beyond those that many of us experience across the UK.
In addition, the staff we sampled from the hospital did not (necessarily) have involvement with any energy related interventions in their home life.
Our other case site, Cardiff, sits closer to the middle of the niche–mainstream spectrum. For this case site we sampled across two local community projects:
- the ‘Futurespace’ initiative in Ely and Caerau
- local community organisation ‘Cyswllst Peterston Connect’
both projects have undertaken more considerable interventions in mainstream contexts, engaging their communities through solar PV installation projects, home energy surveying and wider communications about saving energy.