Air-conditioning and antibiotics: Demand management insights from problematic health and household cooling practices

Nicholls, L and Strengers, Y 2014, 'Air-conditioning and antibiotics: Demand management insights from problematic health and household cooling practices', Energy Policy, vol. 67, pp. 673-681.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title Air-conditioning and antibiotics: Demand management insights from problematic health and household cooling practices
Author(s) Nicholls, L
Strengers, Y
Year 2014
Journal name Energy Policy
Volume number 67
Start page 673
End page 681
Total pages 9
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract Air-conditioners and antibiotics are two technologies that have both been traditionally framed around individual health and comfort needs, despite aspects of their use contributing to social health problems. The imprudent use of antibiotics is threatening the capacity of the healthcare system internationally. Similarly, in Australia the increasing reliance on air-conditioning to maintain thermal comfort is contributing to rising peak demand and electricity prices, and is placing an inequitable health and financial burden on vulnerable heat-stressed households. This paper analyses policy responses to these problems through the lens of social practice theory. In the health sector, campaigns are attempting to emphasise the social health implications of antibiotic use. In considering this approach in relation to the problem of air-conditioned cooling and how to change the ways in which people keep cool during peak times, our analysis draws on interviews with 80 Australian households. We find that the problem of peak electricity demand may be reduced through attention to the social health implications of air-conditioned cooling on very hot days. We conclude that social practice theory offers a fruitful analytical route for identifying new avenues for research and informing policy responses to emerging health and environmental problems.
Subject Social Change
Community Planning
Keyword(s) Peak demand
Electricity
Demand management
Social practices
Copyright notice © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0301-4215
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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