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Energy use occurs in homes, workplaces and communities in which complex webs of social relations already exist, and social interactions routinely occur. This Focus issue explores how these social relations and interactions shape and are shaped by energy behaviour across a range of contexts.
The smart home technology industry promises energy savings and lifestyle improvements. However, there is little evidence that smart home technologies will reduce home energy use overall, and there are a range of emerging detrimental social impacts that require further attention from researchers, policymakers and practitioners.
Energy use occurs in homes, workplaces and communities in which complex webs of social relations already exist. In this Perspective, the authors draw on recent qualitative research to propose a typology of social relations that shape how people engage with and use energy.
Household energy behaviours are influenced by the behaviour of others. In this Review, the authors review recent findings on social influence in energy consumption and technology adoption and discuss pathways through which social influence can result in peer effects.