Reflecting on personal and professional energy stories in energy demand research

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As researchers involved in projects to reduce energy demand within buildings we may differ in our discipline, approach and epistemology; however we all share in common our experiences of energy demand within our own homes and workplaces. This paper centres on our status as ‘insiders’ in the research we conduct, exploring its potential impact on the stories of energy we tell through our research. The paper considers ways in which we may craft more creative stories of energy demand by being reflexive researchers, seeking out the ‘productive moment of friction’ where universalising science meets particular personal experiences. Perspectives on the value of so-called ‘anecdote’, along with issues of representativeness are discussed. Ultimately the paper argues for greater recognition of and more explicit attention to the relationship between the stories of energy we experience in our own lives, and those we tell through our research. It does so in the hope of encouraging an acceptance of the partiality of all knowledge, a practice of pluralism, and thus opportunities to move beyond dominant discourses in policy, industry and academia of what is necessary in order to reduce the demand for energy in our buildings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-163
JournalEnergy Research & Social Science
Early online date21 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jun 2017


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