Researchers have identified 15 areas of opportunity for the energy sector. Image – Canva
  • New research has been published by Monash University
  • Pandemic induced lifestyle changes have created a need for the energy sector to adapt
  • The research identifies opportunities for the energy sector to engage with households

New research published by Emerging Technologies Research Lab (ETLab) at Monash University has identified ways in which the energy sector can improve its energy management.

The significant lifestyle changes for many households during the pandemic make a reassessment of how energy is managed very relevant.

Families have spent more time at home than ever before, many glued to their devices more than before. There has also been an increased emphasis on air ventilation.

The Digital Energy Futures report relates particularly to the present context in which many Aussies are seeking opportunities to be more climate-conscious.

The lead author of the report, Dr Larissa Nicholls, from the Faculty of Information Technology, explained the report presents the energy sector with the opportunity to better understand and manage changing demands of households and climbing renewable energy output and battery storage.

“Our recommendations include energy efficiencies for air purification, energy programs to suit people working and parenting from home, thermal efficiency in garages and sheds now being used as home offices,”

Dr Larissa Nicholls, Lead Author

Additionally, she said the research recommended, “…programs that encourage the use of surplus solar and wind energy, and initiatives for digitally excluded households.”

“The energy sector needs to engage with diverse household circumstances and interests to better utilise ever-increasing amounts of renewable electricity from wind and solar generation, and facilitate the path to net zero emissions.”

15 opportunities to approach better energy management

1. Improve healthy air in the home
2. Promote improved zoned and personal temperature control options
3. Improve the efficiency of inhabiting alternative structures
4. Support and cater for the energy needs of those working from home during the week
5. Harness and encourage the surge in interest in sustainability
6. Manage the charging habits of households
7. Educate on and utilise solar-generated electricity for hot water heating
8. Improve access to and understanding of digital energy technologies
9. Engage with parents regarding energy usage and parenting
10. Encourage pet owners to explore low cost and low energy options when catering for the needs of pets
11. Promote low energy cooking practices and food storage
12. Provide opportunities for energy sharing in a community
13. Use the concept of ‘free energy’ to engage with households on otherwise challenging concepts
14. Customise energy advice specific to households
15. Engage sensitively with high demand homes which are often renters and the financially constrained

This is a brief outline of the 15 recommendations, please see the full report on the ETLab website.

The report recommends engaging with pet owners to help them consider lower energy options when catering for pet comfort. Image – Canva
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