This report is an initial mapping exercise examining the available information on socio-demographic factors, which influence energy behaviours and practices in six European countries: France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. It both catalogues and characterises the principal datasets available to researchers in each country, as well as indicating specific research projects that provide information on the socioeconomic and socio-demographic aspects of energy behaviour. The report aims to provide a baseline from which ENTRUST can proceed in developing a deepened understanding of how human behaviour around energy is shaped by both technological systems and socio-demographic factors, in particular gender, age and socioeconomic status. It prepares the ground for the detailed analyses of energy-related behaviours, practices, perceptions and attitudes in the five communities of practice, which forms the substance of WP3.
Section 1 outlines the purpose of the report as well as the theoretical perspective adopted by ENTRUST and how this relates to current social science work in the field of energy research. Section 2 details the methodology adopted: a systematic literature review utilising a ‘Boolean’ keyword search; and snowballing from reference lists deploying both a ‘backward’ and a ‘forward’ snowballing methodology. Section 3 presents the results of the literature review on a country-by-country basis. It lists the key quantitative and (where available) qualitative datasets relevant to energy-related behaviour and practices in each country. It also summarises some of their key characteristics. The principle conclusion is that the datasets tend to be disaggregated according to relatively narrow sets of socio-demographic and socioeconomic variables matched with only selected forms of energy use. What is absent is any dataset that disaggregates statistics for energy use according to a comprehensive array of socio-demographic characteristics, and which incorporates the whole range of energy related behaviours that include both energy use within the home as well as related to travel and other uses. Section 4 offers some general observations on the results of the literature review from a European perspective. Section 5 is an indicative bibliography of energy research in the social sciences, drawing on the literature review and with a particular focus on studies relevant to the aims of the ENTRUST projec