Elizabeth Shove is a Professor in the Sociology Department at Lancaster University, and co-director of the DEMAND Research Centre. Her recent research has been about how social practices change and about the implications of these dynamics for everyday life, energy demand and climate change.
  • No more meters? Let's make energy a service, not a commodity

    Imagine never again receiving an energy bill. Instead, you could pay a flat fee for “comfort”, “cleanliness” or “home entertainment” alongside a premium for more energy-demanding TVs, kettles or fridge-freezers. This isn’t the stuff of science fiction – it’s emerging right now. Recent changes in technology and regulation are enabling the development of new ways to provide electricity and gas.

  • Size is everything at Christmas and your oven is no exception

    At Christmas, size is everything: so says an online “oven selector guide”. And it is true, ovens are designed and optimised for roasting large birds. As a result, they are typically oversized for regular use – making their total energy consumption greater than necessary. It is not only ovens that are designed to cope with the special demands of the festive season.

  • No butts. Corey Templeton, CC BY-ND

    Smoking, drinking & eating: public health should not be all about the individual

    Diseases linked to smoking tobacco, a lack of exercise, drinking alcohol and eating unhealthily are on the rise, even though we have more information than ever before on the risks involved. All indications are that these so-called “lifestyle” diseases are defeating efforts to persuade people to make the right choices; maybe it’s time for a different approach.

  • Heating © Meryll | Dreamstime.com

    The history and future of room temperature

    Most people expect normal room temperature to be about 22 degrees C. but very few know why this is the case. An interactive exhibition, staged by the DEMAND research centre as part of Campus in the City provides some clues.

  • Smart meters don't make us any smarter about energy use

    Energy bills are higher on the political agenda than ever before and we are constantly being told that devices such as smart meters will help us make better decisions and take control of the energy we use. But evidence shows that these new technologies are not making us more savvy.

  • All this talk about lights hides bigger energy challenges

    To anyone following recent discussions about the UK’s energy sector, it might seem the nation is entirely lighting-obsessed.

  • School holiday shakeup brings unintended consequences

    Michael Gove’s proposal to allow all schools in England to set their own holidays is part of a bill aimed at removing “unnecessary burdens” and regulations. But removing some burdens could create others.