Tom Hargreaves

Tom Hargreaves
University of East Anglia | UEA

About

61
Publications
32,727
Reads
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5,344
Citations
Citations since 2017
29 Research Items
4095 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
Smart grids have been heralded as means to build more efficient, connected and sustainable energy systems yet they bring forward many possible futures and potential downsides. Whilst most existing analyses have been technical in focus, emerging social studies of smart grids have separately considered their imagined sociotechnical futures, generalis...
Article
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Meeting international targets to limit climate change requires countries around the world to decarbonise whole energy systems. It is increasingly recognised that low-carbon energy transitions will need to focus as much on social transformations and the meaningful engagement of society as they do technical aspects. Most existing studies to engage so...
Article
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-021-00812-x.
Article
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Low-carbon transitions demand long-term systemic transformations and meaningful societal engagement. Most approaches to engaging society with energy and climate change fail to address the systemic nature of this challenge, focusing on discrete forms of participation in specific parts of wider systems. Our systemic approach combines comparative case...
Technical Report
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In this issue of UKERC’s annual Review of Energy Policy we discuss some of the effects of COVID-19 on the energy system and how the unprecedented events of 2020 might impact energy use and climate policy in the future.
Article
This work applies a network analysis technique to the study of real and synthetic residential activity data commonly used in activity and energy demand research. UK Time Use Survey activity diaries are converted into network graphs of activity sequences. Differences between weekday and weekend networks are compared using network metrics: size, dens...
Article
In the sociological tradition, markets are understood to be constituted of social relations: relations of trust, friendship, power and dependence, which have moral and emotional qualities. In this paper, we explore how people in energy poor households construct the energy market and its impact on energy policy. Drawing on secondary analysis of a la...
Article
Current efforts to change patterns of energy demand tend to target people as discrete and isolated individuals. In so doing, they ignore the fact that energy use occurs in places such as homes, workplaces and communities in which complex webs of social relations already exist. Here, we argue that more attention should be paid to how people’s social...
Article
Full-text available
Dominant policy understandings of fuel poverty tend to overlook its lived experience. This results in narrow, technical problem framings that neglect the multiple, interrelated and dynamic factors that shape everyday experiences of energy consumption. Consequently, the concept of energy vulnerability has been used as the basis of recent qualitative...
Article
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This paper develops a novel approach to mapping diverse forms of participation and public engagement, using the example of the UK energy system. It builds on emerging systemic accounts of participation, which go beyond a focus on individual instances of participation, to gain an understanding of broader patterns and connections. Our approach, which...
Article
Energy poverty is widely understood to be a complex and multi-faceted problem, with a range of drivers, and associated with household vulnerability. In this paper we draw on secondary qualitative data on energy poverty from the UK, as well as conceptual thinking informed by the capabilities approach, to explore a previously understudied facet of en...
Article
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Smart homes are a priority area of strategic energy planning and national policy. The market adoption of smart home technologies (SHTs) relies on prospective users perceiving clear benefits with acceptable levels of risk. This paper characterises the perceived benefits and risks of SHTs from multiple perspectives. A representative national survey o...
Article
Full-text available
Studies of societal engagement with socio-technical change are undergoing a systemic turn. Rather than simply viewing public engagement in science, policy and behavioural change in terms of discrete cases, key social theories in deliberative democracy, practice theory, socio-technical transitions and co-productionist scholarship in science and tech...
Chapter
Through a systematic analysis of peer-reviewed literature, this chapter takes stock of the dominant research themes on smart homes and their users, and the linkages and disconnects between these themes. Key findings within each of nine themes are analysed in three groups: (1) views of the smart home—functional, instrumental, socio-technical; (2) us...
Chapter
In this chapter we synthesise the main findings from the four empirical chapters and summarise the arguments and themes developed throughout the book. These illustrate the importance of research that integrates across functional, instrumental and socio-technical views of smart homes and their users. These cross-cutting themes have important implica...
Chapter
This chapter introduces the book, its rationale and objectives, and the new data sources on which much of the analysis is based. Smart home technologies (SHTs) are now commercially available amid the promise of a smart home future. But there is a dearth of informed research on the users and use of SHTs in real domestic settings. This book is one of...
Chapter
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In this chapter we focus on a specific theme that is central to research on SHTs: control. The potential benefits of SHTs are dependent on householders having more and finer-grained control over their appliances, homes and even their everyday lives and routines. Diving deeper into the qualitative interview material introduced in Chap. 5, we interro...
Chapter
This chapter draws on in-depth qualitative data to explore how 10 households domesticated smart home technologies (SHTs) over a nine month period as part of the SHT field trial described in Chap. 1. The analysis is situated within the socio-technical view of smart homes and their users in our analytical framework (Table 2.1). We explore the co-evol...
Chapter
This chapter characterises the perceived benefits and risks of smart home technologies (SHTs) from multiple perspectives. A representative national survey of over a thousand UK homeowners finds prospective users have positive perceptions of the multiple functionality of SHTs including energy management. Ceding autonomy and independence in the home...
Article
Full-text available
Role playing is increasingly used in European Studies and political science more generally to foster students understanding of social science theories. Yet in most cases, role playing is only done by students. Not so in Theoretical Theatre, a teaching innovation which puts the onus on teachers to act. In our performances, teachers embody competing...
Article
The aims of this commentary are to generate thought and discussion about the potential role and value of energy feedback in future energy transitions. There is now a global research and policy effort devoted to developing energy feedback (e.g. from improved bills, metering or displays) in order to change energy-use behaviour and reduce demand. With...
Article
Full-text available
Urgent and radical transition to lower-carbon forms of society is imperative to limit current and future climate change impacts. Behavioral spillover theory offers a way to catalyze broad lifestyle change from one behavior to another in ways that generate greater impacts than piecemeal interventions. Despite growing policy and research attention, t...
Article
Full-text available
Smart homes are a priority area of strategic energy planning and national policy. The market adoption of smart home technologies (SHTs) relies on prospective users perceiving clear benefits with acceptable levels of risk. This paper characterises the perceived benefits and risks of SHTs from multiple perspectives. A representative national survey o...
Article
Full-text available
Smart homes promise to significantly enhance domestic comfort, convenience, security and leisure whilst simultaneously reducing energy use through optimized home energy management. Their ability to achieve these multiple aims rests fundamentally on how they are used by householders, yet very little is currently known about this topic. The few studi...
Book
Smart home technologies promise to transform domestic comfort, convenience, security and leisure while also reducing energy use. But delivering on these potentially conflicting promises depends on how they are adopted and used in homes. This book starts by developing a new analytical framework for understanding smart homes and their users. Drawing...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
National time-use surveys provide detailed data of people's activities over a 24-hour period and in numerous ways have proven to be useful sources of information for energy demand research. Crucially, such data is used by both engineers and social scientists in energy demand research, and as such it can serve as a useful interdisciplinary 'bridge'...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper takes as its context the need to better understand how flexible energy demand might be in the context of the need to balance intermittent renewable generation. The notion that energy is used as part of everyday practices has opened up new directions for research seeking to intervene in energy demand. We think understanding the structures...
Article
Full-text available
Achieving a transition to a low-carbon energy system is now widely recognised as a key challenge facing humanity. To date, the vast majority of research addressing this challenge has been conducted within the disciplines of science, engineering and economics utilising quantitative and modelling techniques. However, there is growing awareness that m...
Article
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While there are profound disagreements about how more sustainable forms of living might be achieved, most research on pro-environmental action recognizes it as a fundamentally social challenge—demanding shifts not merely in individuals’ attitudes and behaviors, but also in social norms, contexts, and practices. Despite the social nature of the chal...
Article
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Grassroots innovations for sustainability are attracting increasing policy attention. Drawing upon a wide range of empirical research into community energy in the UK, and taking recent support from national government as a case study, we apply three distinct analytical perspectives: strategic niche management, niche policy advocacy, and critical ni...
Article
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System-changing innovations for sustainability transitions are proposed to emerge in radical innovative niches. ‘Strategic Niche Management’ theory predicts that niche-level actors and networks will aggregate learning from local projects, disseminating best practice, and encouraging innovation diffusion. Grassroots innovations emerging from civil s...
Article
Full-text available
Published research on smart homes and their users is growing exponentially, yet a clear understanding of who these users are and how they might use smart home technologies is missing from a field being overwhelmingly pushed by technology developers. Through a systematic analysis of peer-reviewed literature on smart homes and their users, this paper...
Data
Community energy projects are attracting increasing attention as potential sources of innovation to support sustainable energy transitions. Research into ‘grassroots innovations’ like community energy often recognises the difficulties they face in simply surviving let alone in growing or seeding wider change. Strategic niche management theory is po...
Article
The multilevel perspective and social practice theory have emerged as competing approaches for understanding the complexity of sociotechnical change. The relationship between these two diff erent camps has, on occasions, been antagonistic, but we argue that they are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, through empirical analysis of two diff erent case s...
Article
Drawing on Flyvbjerg’s (2001) call for the development of phronetic social science, this paper argues that much current research into pro-environmental behaviour (PEB) is misguided, and even potentially dangerous. After outlining Flyvbjerg’s argument, it reviews existing work on PEB and argues that, to date, it has predominantly sought after the Ar...
Article
This article applies the insights of social practice theory to the study of proenvironmental behaviour change through an ethnographic case study (nine months of participant observation and 38 semi-structured interviews) of a behaviour change initiative — Environment Champions — that occurred in a workplace. In contrast to conventional, individualis...
Article
Full-text available
Reductions in the environmental impacts of everyday life are increasingly accepted as a crucial part of any transition to a sustainable economy. Despite profound differences in how it should be achieved, the vast majority of recent research on such pro-environmental action recognises that it poses a fundamentally social challenge - demanding shifts...
Article
Introduction The development of a ‘smart’ electricity grid that is able to accommodate and balance decentralized forms of electricity generation is a central plank of the UK government’s ‘Low Carbon Transition Plan’ (Department of Energy and Climate Change [DECC 2009b]). The first step towards achieving this is the roll-out of smart meters to all U...
Article
This paper explores how UK householders interacted with feedback on their domestic energy consumption in a field trial of real-time displays or smart energy monitors. After examining relevant bodies of literature on the effects of energy feedback on consumption behaviour, and on the complex role of energy and appliances within household moral econo...
Article
Full-text available
This paper outlines and attempts to develop an original and innovative approach to research on pro-environmental behaviour (PEB) by, for the first time, applying Flyvbjerg's (2001) call for the development of phronetic social science to this burgeoning empirical subject. Based on this novel application of Flyvbjerg's work, it contents that most cur...
Article
Summary This article explores the intrinsic role of context in shaping the course and outcomes of interventions aimed at changing environmentally significant behavior in home and workplace settings. Drawing on sociological theories of symbolic interactionism, we evaluate the social dynamics and mechanisms of two similar, team-based behavior change...
Article
Full-text available
Some of the key issues relating to interdisciplinary research serves not only to provide some conceptual background to these issues, but also to highlight that debates about inter-disciplinarity have been firmly driven from within the social sciences. Given the institutional dominance of academic disciplines, reinforced by successive rounds of Rese...
Article
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This paper considers the potential of Global Action Plan UK's (GAP) facilitated team-based approach to changing consumption practices for working with low-income communities. It outlines the two dominant approaches for encouraging sustainable consumption in UK policy: attitude–behaviour connection models (A–Bc) and consumer motivation theories. It...
Article
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This copy of the thesis has been supplied on condition that anyone who consults it is understood to recognise that its copyright rests with the author and that no quotation from the thesis, nor any information derived therefrom, may be published without the author's prior, written consent.
Article
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This paper describes outline transition pathways for a low carbon energy system in the UK, which are currently being developed in a collaborative research project, involving leading UK engineers, social scientists and policy analysts. The pathways are exploring different governance patterns, relating to the roles of central government, market actor...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes work being undertaken as part of an interdisciplinary project on transition pathways to a low carbon economy, bringing together insights from engineers, social scientists and policy analysts. The project is examining the plausibility of different transition pathways for a low carbon energy system in the UK, under different gove...

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Projects (3)
Project
Innovative pedagogies for higher education. Theoretical Theatre turns abstract concepts into characters, for teachers and/or students to enact and interact. This brings complex ideas to life for more effective and engaged learning.