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The Grounded Survey—An integrative mixed method for scrutinizing household energy behavior

2021-09-20 07:51:47

This paper proposes an integrative methodological approach called grounded survey for understanding behavioral factors behind household energy consumption. It combines participatory-systems-mapping with a quantitative survey.

The study was caried out within the framework of ENABLE.EU project. The Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research (REKK) was responsible for the ‘Heating & Cooling’ part carried out in covered five countries Findings are based on 5006 survey  responses. 

Fig. 1

Model of grounded survey  

Related to standard heating temperatures  some surprising country-level differences were revealed (Fig. 5). 

Fig. 5

Indoor winter temperature in the case study countries (N = 5006) 

Compared to the all-country average overheating is more common in Hungary and Germany. In Hungary, two-thirds of respondents heat their homes to at least 23 degrees, and almost every fourth person maintains a temperature of at least 24 degrees Celsius in winter. In contrast, French regulations suggest an ideal temperature of 19 degrees Celsius. This phenomenon can be explained by overcompensation for a cold winter climate, cultural factors, and, in Hungary, the limited availability of temperature-management options and the impact of a legacy of low energy prices.

The survey also indicated that one in four respondents (25.6% ) keep their homes warmer in winter than in summer. Winter overheating and summer overcooling waste resources, lead to higher carbon emissions, and have negative health effects.

The grounded survey method can be utilized in studying wicked or paradox problems in which the relationship between behavioral and technical factors are complex and possibilities for intervention are limited. The application of the model is suggested in areas where development can only be achieved through behavioral change.

About the authors: 

Dr. Maria Csutora is full professor at the Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management of the Institute of Business Economics at the Corvinus University of Budapest. Her main area of research is sustainability management, sustainable consumption, ecological and carbon footprint calculation and carbon strategies. She leads the Sustainability Indicators Research Centre within the Institute.  Her publications were reported in the EU Science for Environmental Policy news, and referred in depth in EU level policy documents and in the flagship book „State of the World”  Her articles are on the readings list of several universities all over the world. 

Dr. Csutora Mária maria.csutora@uni-corvinus.hu Rektori Szervezet / Fenntartható Fejlődés Intézet / Fenntarthatósági Menedzsment és Környezetgazdaságt
Egyetemi Tanár / Professor
C épület, 505.2
Phone: +36 1 482 7370 • Ext: 7370

Dr. Gábor Harangozó is an associate professor at the Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management of the Institute of Business Economics at the Corvinus University of Budapest. He graduated as an economist at the Corvinus, obtained his PhD degree also there in 2008 and habilitated there in 2018. Since then, he has been working at Corvinus continuously, dealing with environmental economics topics. His main area of research is corporate environmental and sustainability management, ecological and carbon footprint calculations at various levels. In addition to the corporate aspects of sustainability, his courses taught also cover the policy aspects of environmental protection. He is the author of many international and domestic scientific and educational publications in the field. 

Dr. Harangozó Gábor gabor.harangozo@uni-corvinus.hu Rektori Szervezet / Fenntartható Fejlődés Intézet / Fenntarthatósági Menedzsment és Környezetgazdaságt
Egyetemi Docens / Associate Professor
C épület, 312
Phone: +36 1 482 7223 • Ext: 7223

Dr. Ágnes Zsóka is full professor at the Department of Marketing Management. She received her her diploma and Phd degree at Corvinus University and she works for the institution since 1997. Her main research and teaching areas include sustainable consumption, education for sustainability, corporate sustainability and responsibility, as well as implications of climate change in corporate practice. She leads the international Faculty Group ”Business and the Environment” within the CEMS network. Since 2006, Dr. Ágnes Zsóka is Program Director of the Doctoral School of Business and Management at Corvinus, and since 2015, she takes the General Secretary position of the European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration (EDAMBA). On parallel, since 2015, she is director of the German Study Centre of Business Administration (DSG) at the university, in cooperation with the University of Passau.   

Prof. Dr. Zsóka Ágnes agnes.zsoka@uni-corvinus.hu Rektori Szervezet / Akadémiai fejlesztésekért felelős rektorhelyettes
Egyetemi Tanár / Professor
E épület, 207
Phone: +36 1 482 5395 • Ext: 5395
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GEN.:2024.07.18. - 14:37:59