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Vicki Cowan
Why water matters
Behaviour, Blog, Water
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It’s an odd thing that while many people are vocal in their demands that councils reduce spending and angrily object to each rates hike, most use water as if it was an endlessly abundant resource and just arrived free of charge each time they turn on a tap.

Most people – unless they are charged for water separately – do not see the point of reducing the amount of water they use.
Our HomeSmart Renovation project was a case in point.  Water efficiency improvements were recommended as part of the Renovation Plan provided to participating households.  However,  few households saw them as a priority, and even fewer took measures to reduce water use in the home, even though they are often very easy to implement and cheap to install.  Interestingly, their perception of water use was very inaccurate.  71% of households thought they weren’t high water users, yet only 45% of monitored households actually met Beacon’s HSS High Standard of Sustainability® benchmark for water use. Unsurprisingly, the most water-efficient households were in areas that were metered and directly charged for water use, rather than paying an annual charge in their rates bill. Read more …

Rebecca Ford
Profile II: Energy Cultures at Otago University
Behaviour, Blog, Hub profiles

Who are we?

The Energy Cultures team is a group of researchers with an interest in the way in which people use energy in their homes, their transportation, and their work.

The team members are mainly based at the University of Otago, and span the physical sciences, social sciences, economics, marketing, management, and law. We each bring different perspectives and skills, and by working together we take a holistic approach to understanding how and why we use energy, and what it takes to change energy behaviour.

Read more …