Constructing Policy Success for UK Energy Feedback

Robison, Rosalyn A. V. and Foulds, Chris (2018) Constructing Policy Success for UK Energy Feedback. Building Research & Information, 46 (3). pp. 316-331. ISSN 1466-4321

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Energy feedback tools are commonly used to promote energy saving. In the UK, energy feedback provision (currently via an In-Home Display) is part of the government-mandated roll-out of smart meters to all homes by 2020. A core assumption underlying this widespread provision is that information, or evidence, can lead to positive changes in action. This is analogous to assumptions underlying the notion of ‘Evidence-Based Policy’, which raises questions about how users, researchers and policymakers go about using evidence in aiming for a ‘successful’ outcome. In addition the ‘policy feedback’ research agenda has asked how policies alter the landscapes within which they operate by, for example, affecting relationships between actors. Via an in-depth review of DECC (now BEIS) policy literature over 2010-2016, the UK smart meter roll-out was analysed in terms of how its energy feedback focussed measures may be deemed as ‘successful’. Findings include that direct energy savings played a smaller role than might be expected, and translation from one success measure to another was repeatedly observed. A key conclusion is that acting on feedback requires an assessment of success, but such assessment is highly contextual, for consumers and policymakers alike. Ways to increase reflexivity in this area are discussed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: energy, evidence-based design, feedback, governance, household energy, policy evaluation, policy feedback, public policy, smart meters
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Dr Rosie Robison
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2017 13:57
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:57

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