Smart energy technologies (SETs) are being developed around the world to support using energy more efficiently and to smooth our consumption over time, helping us to meet our carbon reduction targets. Notably, SETs will only be effective with support and engagement from the public. Previous literature has focused on evaluating SETs within a residential context, however, results here may differ from a workplace or policy context. We note that surrogate decision making (SDM ) theory indicates we make decisions differently for others than for the self. Study one (N = 213) comprises a survey using a UK population sample that examines public perceptions and support for SETs in different contexts. Study two (N = 12) utilises interviews to explore perceptions in more depth, probing the nature of support using socio-cognitive constructs relating to SDM. We find that people are more likely to support SETs in a workplace or policy context, compared to residential contexts. In addition, we note that support for SETs is related to different socio-cognitive constructs in different contexts, and also that impulsivity of decision making differs across contexts. Decision making within workplace and policy contexts is characterised by higher levels of impulsivity than in a residential context, as well as a sense of shared responsibility. Our results indicate that translational research is needed when considering evidence based on residential studies in making decisions within workplace and policy contexts.
Spence, A., Leygue, C., Wickes, L., Withers, L., Goulden, M., & Wardman, J. K. (2021). Dumber energy at home please: Perceptions of Smart Energy Technologies are dependent on home, workplace, or policy context in the United Kingdom. Energy Research and Social Science, 75, Article 102021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2021.102021