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Distributed solar+storage should qualify for Minnesota utility energy efficiency programs

‘Energy phenomenology’ is the paper’s proposed means of understanding people’s heating choices. It combines the lived experience approach with energy biographies to form a framework for understanding how experiences, practices and identities shape energy services and consumption.

The lived experience approach studies individual’s unique human actions and behaviour along with the subjective meanings associated with life events. It describes emotions and non-rational elements of behaviour not captured by many other modes of inquiry, including stated preference techniques. Energy biographies interrogate how energy use expresses shared practices and attaches meaning to everyday behaviours which can often be taken for granted.

The paper combines both approaches to form “the energy phenomenology framework”. Identity shapes heating use. Seeing yourself as an environmentalist or consumerist, a parent or a child, wealthy or poor, will influence energy consumption.  These identities and their associated values and priorities with domestic niceties like a warm home, a clean bathroom, a comfortable living room, or a convenient way of doing a chore will shape consumption.

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