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Exploring collective energy needs


2022 has been characterised by rising concerns about spiralling energy bills. Many of our thoughts are turning to how we use electricity, how we can reduce this use, and what we can go without.

A new study from researchers at the University of Strathclyde, the University of Bristol, and the University of the West of England has released a survey to collect data from across Bristol to understand how local people use their energy, how they plan to reduce this use, and what might influence their behaviour.

woman sitting on sofa under blanket looking at phoneMany of us are avoiding turning on our central heating. Others are wearing as many clothes as possible to keep warm or using slow cookers to reduce how much electricity they use. All of us are keeping a close on eye on the bills when they come through the door.

The aim of this survey is to find out how people in Bristol might see their electricity use – both in terms of what happens in their own homes but also how it might interact with other conversations and concerns across their neighbourhood and communities.

The team of researchers would like to know what people’s electricity use is and how this is linked to the building they live in and the neighbourhood they call home. This survey will help identify key points where new technologies and approaches might be piloted – and what they might mean for different communities.

Ed Atkins, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol, explains: “We’re all worried about our energy usage and what the means for our household bills. We’ve got a growing understanding of what this means for families and households. What is less clear is how new technologies, like smart meters, might be used to generate new understandings of local demand for electricity. This survey is one step in understanding how communities can work together to build new ways to manage in a way that benefit all in society.”

This is your chance to share your experience and views on how and when you use electricity, and how it might be linked to your neighbours, neighbourhood, and community.

Take part in the survey.

To take part, you need to be living in Bristol and be 18 years of age or over and be in part-time employment, unemployed or retired. The research involves completing an anonymous survey and should take approximately 15-20 minutes of your time.

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