USER-CENTRED IMPROVEMENTS TO ENERGY EFFICIENCY PRODUCTS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS: RESEARCH ON HOUSEHOLD ADOPTION AND USE
The development and rapid consumer adoption of energy efficiency products and renewable energy systems are key elements of the UK and the EU carbon reduction strategies to meet the challenge of climate change. Many such technologies are available for domestic use, but despite government incentives to meet carbon reduction targets consumer adoption has been slow. This Open University research with 111 in-depth interviews plus an on-line survey with nearly 400 responses, investigates consumer adoption, non-adoption and use of these technologies. Results show that it is important to research consumer use experiences, problems and requirements when designing and developing "green" technologies. With results tailored to each technology, this study shows that user-centred improvements are required to improve functionality, ergonomics, inter-connectedness with other systems and symbolic value, and to reduce cost and payback. User-centred research supports new product/system design and development to promote more rapid adoption and carbon-saving use of energy efficient and renewable technologies in homes.
Energy efficiency, renewable energy, consumer surveys, user-centred design, marketing
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