Energy use in the context of behaviour and practice: the interdisciplinary challenge in modelling flexible electricity demand

Moving towards a low carbon energy system in line with energy policy requires that we more fully appreciate the relationship between people and the technology they use. Specifically, in a future electricity grid dominated by renewables we may need to consider our response to an intermittent electricity supply. This has significant implications for energy practices. Traditionally engineering approaches have focused on technology, whilst sociological approaches have people as their main object of study. A practice based approach has the relationship between the two at its core and so there is the potential to combine their methodologies in new interdisciplinary ways. This paper proposes that analysing household practices can better represent domestic energy consumption in context and that this may therefore be used to build more representative models.