Heatwaves, Homes & Health: Why household vulnerability to extreme heat is an electricity policy issue

Nicholls, L, McCann, H, Strengers, Y and Bosomworth, K 2017, Heatwaves, Homes & Health: Why household vulnerability to extreme heat is an electricity policy issue, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia


Document type: Commissioned Reports
Collection: Commissioned Reports

Title of report Heatwaves, Homes & Health: Why household vulnerability to extreme heat is an electricity policy issue
Author(s) Nicholls, L
McCann, H
Strengers, Y
Bosomworth, K
Year of publication 2017
Publisher Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Subjects Environmental Sociology
Abstract/Summary Heatwaves and extreme heat are a significant risk to household health. As electricity costs rise, more households are experiencing difficulty paying energy bills. Householder concerns about energy bills already contribute to self-rationing of heating and negative outcomes for health and wellbeing in cold weather. During hot weather, the electricity sector aims to reduce peak electricity demand via 'price signals' - higher prices for electricity used at times when many households use air conditioning to cool their homes. To manage the risk of electricity outages at peak times, public messages to reduce consumption are also used. Little is known about how current electricity costs and messaging impact heat vulnerable households or what effects pricing reforms could have on household practices during hot weather and health outcomes. The Heatwaves, Homes, & Health project sought to address this knowledge gap. The role of electricity costs, price signals and messaging in shaping household cooling practices and strategies during extreme heat, and outcomes for health and wellbeing were investigated.
Commissioning body Energy Consumers Australia
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