Energy Policy 63 (2013) 833-844.
Harnessing social networks for promoting adoption of energy technologies
in the domestic sector
Catherine S. E. Bale,
Nicholas J. McCullen,
Tim J. Foxon,
Alastair M. Rucklidge
William F. Gale
This paper presents results from modelling work investigating the effects of
social networks on the adoption of energy technologies in the domestic sector.
This work concerns ideas on social network interventions which have been
successfully applied in other domains but which have seldom been applied to
energy policy questions. We employ a dynamical multi-parameter network model
where households are represented as nodes on a network for which the uptake of
technologies is influenced by both personal benefit and social influences. This
is applied to demonstrate the usefulness of this type of model in assessing the
likely success of different roll-out strategies that a local authority could
pursue in promoting the uptake of domestic energy technologies. Local
authorities can play a key role in the retrofit of energy-efficiency and
low-carbon energy-generation technologies in order to realise carbon reductions
and alleviate fuel poverty. Scenarios are modelled for different local
authority interventions that target network interactions and uptake threshold
effects, and the results provide insights for policy. The potential for the use
of this type of modelling in understanding the adoption of energy innovations
in the domestic sector and designing local-level interventions is demonstrated.
- We model energy-technology adoption of households connected on a social networks.
- Adoption depends on both personal and social benefits to the household.
- We investigate interventions that a local authority could take to
- Increased uptake results from both threshold and network intervention
- Insights should be incorporated into design of local-level domestic
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