Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Practicing energy prosumption: using unsolicited online data to reveal the everyday realities of solar thermal panels in the United Kingdom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


International targets for emissions reduction are encouraging increasingly more households to become energy producers. We present analysis of Mumsnet, a UK online discussion forum (19 million visits/month), to explore unsolicited accounts of these energy prosumers to understand their motivation and experience of installing and living with one type of microgeneration technology: solar thermal panels for hot water. In so doing, we challenge research and policy approaches that assume financial and environmental motivations as dominant in householder uptake of microgeneration technology. We draw attention to the wider reality within which energy prosumption practices are performed, how they coincide with other home improvements, and how they relate to expectations about modern lifestyles. To conclude, we discuss the implications of this for policy.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Early online date9 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

    Research areas

  • Microgeneration, Renewables, Energy prosumption, Solar thermal panels, Sustainability

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

Related by journal

  1. Energy Research and Social Science (Journal)

    Darren McCauley (Reviewer)
    2014 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. Exploring the anthropology of energy: ethnography, energy and ethics

    Smith, J. & High, M., Aug 2017, In : Energy Research and Social Science. 30, p. 1-6

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Challenging obduracy: How local communities transform the energy system

    van der Schoor, T., van Lente, H., Scholtens, B. & Peine, A., Mar 2016, In : Energy Research and Social Science. 13, p. 94-105 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Energy justice: a conceptual review

    Jenkins, K. E. H., McCauley, D., Heffron, R., Stephan, H. & Rehner, R. W. M., Jan 2016, In : Energy Research and Social Science. 11, p. 174-182

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 250701768