4 Case Studies – Learning Cycle 2

In the 2nd Learning Cycle, the four national teams of social science and humanities students, mentored jointly by academic and industry mentors, will work on the second set of exciting, industry-relevant challenges, using people-centred design and development approaches. Find the case studies implemented in the 1st Learning Cycle here.

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Slovenian case study

In the 2nd Learning Cycle, the Slovenian team of anthropology students will continue the work on Metronik’s energy information system (EIS) for energy management. MePIS Energy is customised and designed for managing energy use in buildings and is implemented at the University of Ljubljana as a part of its energy strategy. The key focus of the case study is to analyse different technological and also non-technological approaches and interventions to influence the energy-related behaviour of building occupants and users. The building of the Faculty of Arts will serve as the pilot case in which the team of students, supervised by ZRC SAZU academic mentors and Metronik‘s industry mentors, will implement people-centred development approaches to provide recommendations for enhancing energy efficient behaviour and setting up an awareness-raising campaign.


UK case study

In the 2nd Learning Cycle, Durham University will collaborate with the Low Carbon Economy Team of Durham County Council, which identifies, develops and implements innovative projects to reduce carbon emissions and develop low carbon economic growth opportunities for the county. They are currently producing a new electric vehicle strategy and the student research aims contribute by answering the question: ‘How can Durham County Council help sustain and encourage the growth of EV’s in Durham City?’ Following a few successful meetings between students, faculty and the DCC, we have collaboratively set out the following objectives: identifying the dominant barriers to EV uptake, understanding the current experience of EV drivers, locating the current available infrastructure, identifying valuable sources of information to EV users and examining examples of uptake in other locations for comparison. To reach these objectives, the students will use a variety of methods, including: interviewing current/previous EV owners, attempting to purchase an EV to understand the processes involved, as well as a review of existing academic literature.


Dutch case study

The Netherlands is on its way to becoming a ‘gas-free society’. Technically, this energy transition can be realized, however, the extent to which Dutch residents will accept new technologies in their homes is, albeit crucial, unclear. Every resident will have to deal with changes in their daily life as entire neighbourhoods will be renovated and individual houses re-fitted. Additionally, surroundings will change as solar fields, windmills and container sized neighbourhood batteries will pop up. In the 2nd Learning Cycle, the Dutch PEOPLE team of students, with academic mentors at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and company Alliander, will research the acceptance of three different technical innovations in three different residential areas, namely the ‘Smart Meter’, ‘Hydrogen in Apartments’ and ‘Pre-paid Energy’, with the aim of providing the industry partner with in-depth insight in the ‘lives and minds’ of different resident groups.


Czech case study

The objective of the second Czech case study is to decrease energy consumption for heating in administrative buildings by means of behavioural interventions. A field experimental design with measurement of actual temperature in the offices will be employed in the 2nd Learning Cycle to measure the intervention’s effect on energy consumption. The Czech team of students and academic (Charles University Environment Center) and industry (VUPS) mentors will employ a commitment to contribute to environmental goals in the intervention, possibly in combination with prompts, which is supposed to be both long-lasting and efficient in public domain. They will further investigate potential spill over effects both on other conservation behaviours (e.g. electricity on lighting) and consumption on heating in households. Students will participate on all stages of the research including intervention design, wording and programming of pre- and post-test questionnaire, data management and analysis.


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