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1 Remembering last week: Private households had been driven into electricity consumption by the power plants which wanted to stabilize their load balance. Consumer behaviour to those shifts is often reluctant because of the uncertainty and high switching costs. Electricity was seen as something modern - during the Cold War, both sides competed for being more modern and for providing private households with more (standardized) appliances. Moreover, markets for electricity have two peculiarities: a) Energy users are highly dependent on the security of the energy service. b) Electricity provision has high fixed costs and low marginal costs which result in digressive tariffs and in natural monopolies. Therefore they are heavily regulated by public authorities, even though in the last 20 years there had been a strong push for liberalisation, initiated mostly by the European Union.

2 Diversity of Energy Cultures Some of your Questions Considering these countries have almost opposite cultures can we really compare them as their needs with regard to heating, lightning etc. are so different? The question that arises is what cultural aspects are influencing energy use today? Are they still the same? And how can the cultural services related to them be upheld with more efficient energy use? The interviews were conducted in the early 1990s. Since then several important and significant things happened. For example Fukushima caused a reversal of new technologies to get a higher awareness for environmental behaviour. Besides that a bright variety of different technologies has appeared in the last years which support an aware and comfortable behaviour at the same time. So it would be interesting to conduct the same research and compare the results with today s society. Has the cultural behavior been relatively changed and which influence has the Energiewende in the present use of energy? Is there an empiric regularity in energy consumption? Do economists know what law that resembles Engel s law (food) or Schwabe s law (shelter) in respect to electricity? What is the common energy use behavior of a private household in Germany? How is it related to our cultural background and how could it be transformed considering current ecological as well as social challenges? I think the question this raises is if there is any chance of changing these cultural patterns (f.e. Education Japanese not to let the water run while washing dishes) or if we should simply try to reduce the energy waste caused by these cultural patterns. According to the author s conclusions, environmental impacts of energy use could be mitigated by extending education about interlinkages between consumption behaviour and environmental consequences, and by providing information of an environmentally more friendly energy use. There the question emerges which framing factors must be considered thereby and which difficulties occur that must be overcome to achieve an education and information increase. Would a detailed breakdown of the consumption of each electrical appliance in a household and the costs it causes lead to reduction of energy consumption or are personal habits too strong?

3 1. What do different authors tell us about the energy use of private households? 2. What is culture? And what influences culture? 3. Can we say that energy cultures exist? Wilhite et al (1994): A cross-cultural analysis of household energy use behaviour in Japan and Norway Which differences in energy use did you observe between Norway and Japan? What could be the reasons? ( climatic, cultural, economic ) natural : Climate differences -> energy efficiency of buildings?, availability of cheap energy in Norway due to hydro power economic : prices, billing systems cultural : Social expectations about comfort, coziness and appropriate housing influence behavior, changing lifestyle patterns (in Japan)

4 Climate Energy efficiency of buildings Electricity price (US$/kWh) Disposable Income per year (US$ per household) in 1994 Space heat Light Hot water Cultural specifics Knowledge Norway Long, cold winters moderate summers Wall insulation, double glazing 0, All rooms except bathroom heated at 21 C (50% set back temperatures at night) No cooling 9.6 light bulbs per living room - lightning an important part of the coziness (mood) - shared washing machines - high temperature - use of basin for dish washing koslighet : importance of being cozy symbolic value of heating - energy relatively cheap in Norway (see session 4.11.) - energy report once a year - strong link between hygiene and hot water in europe - 7/18 relatively accurate estimations of energy use Japan Short, moderate winters hot summers Wall insulation rare, mostly single-pane glass 0, Only one room, or use of kotatsu (almost every household turns back temperatures) 77% use air condition 2.5 light bulbs per living room - visibility - Bathing high importance (relaxiation) - washing machine in every household - basins rarely used for dish washin -> running water - cooling linked to: socially appropriate indoor climate = symbolic value of cooling - higher energy prices - energy report once a month - hot water linked with comfort (bathing) but not hygiene - 14/16 relatively accurate estimations of energy use

5 Janet Rudge: Coal fires, fresh air and the hardy British: A historical view of domestic energy efficiency and thermal comfort in Britain UK has one of the oldest and least energy efficient building stocks in Europe. What might be the reasons for an inefficient building stock, when we look into the past? Availability of cheap coal in Britain lead to the usage of open coal fireplaces Open fireplaces require high ventilation (which was partly solved over leaky construction) Note: Hot air was considered unhealthy (clothing in Victorian times was warmer ) Wheareas in continental Europe stoves were common, in the UK open fireplaces persisted longer

6 Climate in the UK Cool and damp climate with relatively small contrast between summer and winter temperature. It is also relatively windy and the weather can change fast. Radiant vs. convective heat sources (relevance in terms of adopting to changes in temperature) Availability of cheap coal and a weather that can change fast lead to prevalence of open coal fireplaces in Britain. Practices or culture? In general: There have been changes in acceptable indoor temperatures (1880: C in living room, but thermal comfort could be reached through clothing and radiant heat).

7 1. What do we mean when we use the term culture? Wilhite et al: Would you say cultural differences are highly significant or is the article rather stressing national clichés? common definition of culture: Shared norms and values of a group But where do these norms and values come from? Endogenous or exogenous? Values as condensated experiences? Just out of communication or influenced by external factors like the availability of resources? Example from last sessions: Energy abundance Would you consider the perception of energy abundance exogenous or endogenous? 2. How does culture affect energy consumption? Are we talking about culture or practices? Behavoir and actions concerning ecological resources are embedded in cultural backgrounds. But many practices concerning energy use are every day routines which are done mostly nonreflective. Can we see a transition in norms and values considering energy use? If yes, in which direction? Frugal vs. wastefull // fossil fuel vs. renewable energies. 3. Can we say that energy cultures exist? Practices or culture? Visibility and prices of energy (delivery, technology, billing)

8

9 Engel s & Schwabe s law?

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