His, hers or both's? The role of male and female's attitudes in explaining their home energy use behaviours
9 March 2015
Abstract Building energy research has historically overlooked the role of attitudes, instead focusing on building and socio-demographic influences. Even when attitudes are measured, usually, the attitudes of just one household member are measured even though household energy consumption is the result of actions of all household members. This research explored first whether attitudes could help explain heating usage and second whether the attitudes of a couple could explain more of the variability in heating behaviour than the attitudes of one partner. The attitudes towards home heating energy use (i.e. attitudes towards thermal comfort, economical with energy, industry and technology's role and individual's role) of 128 English couples were used in this study. Together with building and socio-demographics, attitudes were examined to explain heating temperatures and durations, which were derived from temperature sensors placed in the homes in 2007-2008. The results showed that attitudes helped explain heating temperatures and durations, even when building and socio-demographic variables were controlled. Economical with energy was the most highly identified influence on heating behaviours, with thermal comfort a close second. In households that included a couple, combined attitudes of both partners explained heating usage behaviours more accurately than the attitudes of either male or female only.
His, hers or both's? The role of male and female's attitudes in explaining their home energy use behaviours. Energy and Buildings, 96 140-148.
Yang, S., Shipworth, M., Huebner, G. (2015)