Towards sustainable energy consumption : Challenging heating-related practices in Denmark, Finland, and Hungary

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Laakso , S , Jensen , C L , Vadovics , E , Apajalahti , E-L , Friis , F & Szollossy , A 2021 , ' Towards sustainable energy consumption : Challenging heating-related practices in Denmark, Finland, and Hungary ' , Journal of Cleaner Production , vol. 308 , 127220 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.127220

Title: Towards sustainable energy consumption : Challenging heating-related practices in Denmark, Finland, and Hungary
Author: Laakso, Senja; Jensen, Charlotte Louise; Vadovics, Edina; Apajalahti, Eeva-Lotta; Friis, Freja; Szollossy, Anita
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Centre for Consumer Society Research
University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences
Date: 2021-07-25
Language: eng
Number of pages: 10
Belongs to series: Journal of Cleaner Production
ISSN: 0959-6526
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/332635
Abstract: This article presents the process and results of a practice-based intervention aimed at facilitating the time and space required to experiment with and change home heating in households, to promote socially and environmentally sustainable ways of practising thermal comfort. A central feature of the intervention, called ENERGISE Living Labs and conducted across eight European countries, was that social practices were targeted, resulting in a focus on what 'heating is for' rather than the process of heating in and of itself. In this article, we concentrate on the three countries with the highest reported expectations of thermal comfort and describe how 113 households in Denmark, Finland and Hungary completed a set of challenges to reduce their indoor temperature to 18 degrees C for four weeks in the late autumn of 2018. To facilitate alternative ways of keeping warm, the participants were supported by reflexive interviews and group discussions, and aided by tips and materials. The results demonstrate how changes in skills, competences, norms, and expectations related to indoor thermal comfort (in addition to other daily practices) are essential for more sufficient energy use. Generally, the temperature level at which people felt comfortable was reduced by an average of 1 degrees C, and, more importantly, participants became aware of their heating-related practices, including the underlying elements of these practices, and learned how to challenge them. The results clearly indicate the potential of practice-based interventions to promote deliberation on and change in existing socially shared expectations of comfort.
Subject: 1172 Environmental sciences
5142 Social policy
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