Social Practices, Transitions & the Use of Time: Options for understanding and assessing socio-technical change

Social Practices, Transitions & the Use of Time: Options for understanding and assessing socio-technical change

Anderson, Ben. (2018). ‘Social Practices, Transitions & the Use of Time: Options for Understanding and Assessing Socio-Technical Change’. presented at the Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change?, The Royal Society of New Zealand, Wellington, August 6.

Recent work completed at the UK DEMAND Centre’s programme has shown how habitual, normative and highly temporally contingent social practices drive residential energy demand [1], [2]. This presentation will discuss the use of historical time-use data for the UK to show how such practices are synchronised and how they have changed over time as the social organisation of everyday work/home life and its embedded infrastructures have changed [3]–[6]. I will focus on the way such data enables the evolution of ‘energy demanding practices’ to be traced through large empirical sample studies giving examples of the use of the results in highlighting potential commercial offerings, ‘non energy’ energy policies and implications for transitions towards a zero-carbon energy system. I will then discuss the extension of the approach to a large scale experimental RCT of demand response interventions intended to shift the timing of energy demanding practices and so reduce peak energy demand in the UK [7]. I will show how time-use data adds novel understandings of how people respond to such interventions and helps to provide explanations for apparent reductions. These explanations have, in turn, encouraged our lines company partners to consider how to influence normative locked-in practices performed by ‘non-rational’ actors when ‘rational economic’ tariff incentives fail. I will conclude by outlining an ongoing programme of work which is using NZ Time-Use survey data (1998/9 – 2009/10) to replicate at least some of the UK historical work albeit over a shorter time frame.

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Ben Anderson

August 06, 2018
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  1. Social Practices, Transitions & the Use of Time Ben Anderson

    (@dataknut) School of Engineering University of Southampton Centre for Sustainability University of Otago
  2. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut Conceptions of (energy) DEMAND 2 Demanding Practices Change Variation Reconfiguration? ? Normality & Need Infrastructures Why people dont do what they rationally should - Jim Skea, 2011
  3. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3761877701 Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/R ush_Hour_on_London_Bridge.jpg "Drip Coffee Bangkok" by Takeaway - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Drip_Coffee_Bangkok.jp g https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Laundry_room _%28tv%C3%A4ttstuga%29.JPG Timings matter… 3 UK Housing Energy Fact File Graph 7a: HES average 24-hour electricity use profile for owner-occupied homes, England 2010-11 Gas consumption The amount of gas consumed in the UK varies dramatically between households. The top 10% of households consume at least four times as much gas as the bottom 10%.60 Modelling  to  predict  households’  energy   consumption – based on the property, household income and tenure – has so far been able to explain less than 40% of this variation. Households with especially high or low consumption do not have particular behaviours that make them easy to identify. Instead they tend to have a cluster of very ordinary behaviours that happen to culminate in high or low Gas use varies enormously from household to household, and the variation has more to do with behaviour than how dwellings are built. 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 Heating Water heating Electric showers Washing/drying Cooking Lighting Cold appliances ICT Audiovisual Other Unknown Watts
  4. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut Digression: Practices, proxies & traces 4 (an empiricists view) Image: Anthony B. Wooldridge Image: Eric Shipton “The recurrent enactment of specific practices leaves all sorts of “marks” – diet shows up in statistics on obesity; heating and cooling practices have effect on energy demand, and habits of laundry matter for water consumption. Identifying relevant “proxies” represents one way to go.” ESRC Sustainable Practices Working Group (SPRG) Discussion Paper, 2011
  5. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut Traces of practices… 5 BBC 1961 ONS 2005 • 1998/1999 • 2010/2011
  6. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut Today (well… 2014) 6 Figure 3: Percentage of half hours in and out of the home with ‘any’ ‘DEMAND’ activities (all respondents aged 16+,) 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 Changing patterns of time use_R1_Manuscript_clean.docx Last saved on 7/16/2018 4:28:00 AM Total word count (Complete manuscript): 9764
  7. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut 30 years of change… 7 Changing patterns of time use_R1_Manuscript_clean.docx Last saved on 7/16/2018 4:28:00 AM Total word count (Complete manuscript): 9764 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 Total word count (Complete manuscript): 9764 Figure 3: Percentage of half hours in and out of the home with ‘any’ ‘DEMAND’ activities (all respondents age 16+,) Changing timing driven by • Labour market policies • Gendered (domestic) practices • Extended work hours (?) • Extended commuting? These are not energy policies!
  8. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut Disrupting ‘evening peak practices’ 9 UK Housing Energy Fact File Graph 7a: HES average 24-hour electricity use profile for owner-occupied homes, England 2010-11 Gas consumption 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 Heating Water heating Electric showers Washing/drying Cooking Lighting Cold appliances ICT Audiovisual Other Unknown Watts Can this be shifted?
  9. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut Disrupting ‘evening peak practices’ •Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Portsmouth Study area •Stratified, random -> 4,000+ Recruitment •Randomised control trial •1 control •3 trials groups Design •Survey •Electricity ‘smart meters’ (Wh every 15 minutes, W every 60 seconds) •Time Use Diaries during trials Instruments 10 4,318 households 32,000 letters
  10. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut Football-watching practices… 11 Halftime Full time England Croatia Croatia Despondency time
  11. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut SRDC 4 Evidence Report SSET206 SAVE Solent Achieving Value from Efficiency Figure 16: Interior page of initial engagement booklet Over the next nine weeks, this booklet was followed up with one general knowledge postcard and five postcards with specific asks, such as: x Waiting until after 8pm to do the washing or running it only with full loads x Waiting until after 8pm to charge mobiles and tablets x Waiting until after 8pm to use the tumble dryer x Waiting until after 8pm to run the dishwasher or using its timer/delay function x Waiting until after 8pm to watch television or turn the television off in rooms that are not being used SRDC 4 Evidence Report SSET206 SAVE Solent Achieving Value from Efficiency Figure 17 Sample Postcard (Front and Back) All three treatment groups received some sort of consumer engagement messaging: x Group 2 received emails and web portal notifications x Group 3 (data informed engagement and price signals) received emails, web portal notifications and postal mailings x Group 4 (data informed engagement) received postal mailings Although the delivery mechanism differed, the content was identical across all platforms. 5.1.3 Price Signalling and Event Day Trial 1 4-8: Network ‘event’ 12 SRDC 4 Evidence Report SSET206 SAVE Solent Achieving Value from Efficiency Page 44 The price levels in TP1 were determined based upon analysis put together in the SAVE business case (Appendix N of full submission) and ensuring any level was deemed market competitive (this is important to consider for aggregator models of domestic DSR). Given the ‘event day’ structure of the trials present clear similarities to National Grid’s triads; commercial analysis was performed between average household demand and £/kW payment levels for triads, the outcome of which suggested a £10 incentive would require at least a 7% load-reduction from each household to be cost-competitive. Accounting behavioural economics in this equation it was determined that consumer responsiveness would benefit from a more relatable, less precise figure of load-reduction and hence this was rounded to 10% for £10. Below is an example of the email message group 2 received two days before the event day. Group 3 received a similar email but with a note about the incentive. Figure 18: Event day messaging 5.2 Trial Outcomes 5.2.1 LED Trial As described earlier, mailers directed the LED trial participants to http://saveled.co.uk, which was set up by RS Components. This website allowed participants to purchase discounted LEDs from a • Specific Day ◦ 15th March 2017 • 16:00 – 20:00 period ◦ Control Group • Nothing ◦ Group 2 • Messages ◦ Group 3 • Messages + • £ Incentive Source: pixabay.com
  12. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut Figure 6: Mean 15 minute Wh per period during pre/event/post-event day The charts suggest that: • On the day preceding the event day: Group 3 appeared to use more than the other groups during the evening peak period which would be the case if consumption had been shifted to Ben Anderson 5/7/2017 14:58 Deleted: 10 Trial 1 4-8 Event: Preliminary results 13 Day before Day of Day after Seems to correlate with staying out/going out (Time Use Diary)
  13. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut Key message I: Evolution 15 Demanding Practices Change Variation Reconfiguration? ? Normality & Need Infrastructures Non-energy energy policy Labour market policies Working hours School hours (Sub)Urban planning Transport options
  14. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut Key message II: Disruption 16 Demanding Practices Change Variation Reconfiguration? ? Normality & Need Infrastructures Intervention Disruption Externalisation Relocation
  15. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut Key Message III: Post-disciplinary challenges ‘Big’ transactional data ‘Medium sized’ survey data ‘Little’ ethnographic data 17 ‘Big’ Ethnography? The insight cycle pixabay.com
  16. Towards Sustainability Transitions in the Anthropocene: beyond behaviour change? BRANZ,

    Wellington, August 2018 @dataknut Thank you •SPRG •DEMAND •SAVE With thanks to: 18 Promoting choice and value for all gas and elec Low Carbon Netwo b.anderson@soton.ac.uk @dataknut Further reading: • https://www.southampton.ac.uk/engineering/about/staff/ba1e12.page?#publications • www.demand.ac.uk • www.energy.soton.ac.uk/tag/save • Spurling (2018) Matters of time: Materiality and the changing temporal organisation of everyday energy consumption (https://doi.org/10.1177/1469540518773818) pixabay.com