Designing low and zero carbon products and systems – adoption, effective use and innovation

Roy, Robin and Caird, Sally (2006). Designing low and zero carbon products and systems – adoption, effective use and innovation. In: Sustainable Innovation 06: 11th International Conference, 23-24 Oct 2006, Chicago, USA.

Abstract

This paper summarises the aims, methods and some results of a study of the influences on consumer adoption – and non-adoption – of established energy efficient and innovative renewable energy products and systems; the problems and benefits experienced by users of these low and zero carbon (LZC) technologies; and improvement ideas to make the products/systems more desirable and effective at saving energy and carbon.
The influences on adoption and effective use vary for the different technologies and include the socio-economic context, consumer attitudes and values and communication sources. Product/system characteristics are also crucial, and include functional and ergonomic utility; interconnectedness with other systems, 'green' and aesthetic symbolism, and cost.
Technical, financial and other ideas for reducing the barriers to adoption and tackling the problems experienced by users are a step towards a more rapid and effective take-up of these LZC products and systems.

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