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Energy demand management practices in prosumer homes: An exploration of their role for operational CO2 emissions

Fernandez Goycoolea, Juan Pablo 2022. Energy demand management practices in prosumer homes: An exploration of their role for operational CO2 emissions. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis investigated householders’ engagement with energy demand management practices among dwellings that adopted on-grid Photovoltaic (PV) systems as a retrofit measure. The research aimed to explore the relevance of occupant-led demand management practices for operational CO2 emissions reductions among prosumer dwellings in Cardiff and Dinas Powys, South Wales. Two sequential explanatory mixed methods studies were implemented. The first study consisted of a cross-sectional survey (N=70), followed by semi-structured interviews (N=10) with energy prosumers, to explore levels of engagement in demand management practices and their drivers and barriers. The second study consisted of a monitoring stage, which included a longitudinal survey (five cases during a year-long period), followed by half-hourly operational CO2 accounting and daily diaries of demand management practices through a case-study approach (six specific days spanning six months). The first study results suggest that the level of engagement in demand management was not affected by financial incentives as much as by aspects such as the participants’ interest in and understanding of the system functioning. Results from the second study suggest that occupants’ activities and demand practices influenced the homes’ energy balances, but its relevance for CO2 emissions reductions greatly depended on the grid’s CO2 intensity variations. The monitoring study findings also showed that the most significant part of the operational emissions from electricity resulted from demand occurring during short timeframes during evenings peaks, highlighting the relevance of time-of-demand management for reducing operational emissions. The discussion of the thesis integrates both studies and highlights the four main contributions of the research. Firstly, the research offers an initial understanding of the level of engagement in demand management among South Welsh home-owning prosumers. Secondly, a framework considering the occupants’ role and their options for the reduction of operational emissions is shaped from the results. Thirdly, a set of considerations regarding the methods for in-use evaluation of operational emissions in prosuming dwellings are proposed, including the development of the effective carbon emission intensity variable for the evaluation of demand management effectiveness in the context of prosumer dwellings. Finally, the thesis presents an inductive analysis of the engagement process in demand management practices, suggesting it can be understood as a three-stages process composed by the enabling, adoption, and sustaining of demand management practices

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 May 2023
Last Modified: 24 May 2023 15:52

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