Dr Sarah Darby
Senior Researcher and deputy leader, Lower Carbon Futures group
Research Fellow, Green Templeton College
Member:ECI Energy Research Theme
Sarah joined the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) in 1995 and gained her doctorate there, studying social and educational aspects of energy use. She is deputy leader of the Lower Carbon Futures programme at the ECI, and teaches an elective on energy and environment on the Environmental Change and Management MSc course.
Sarah has a BSc in Ecological Science from Edinburgh University. Previous work includes community development work in Kenya and seven years as a trustee of Oxfam (UK and Ireland). In 2011-12, she was a visiting lecturer in the Department of Thematic Studies (Technology and Social Change), Linköping University, Sweden. She is a Research Fellow of Green Templeton College and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Sarah’s research interests centre on social learning about energy and environment, and on how technologies are adopted and adapted. She is increasingly involved in analysing the interactions between new energy infrastructures (especially ‘smart grids’), the rules and knowledge systems through which they operate, and the everyday practices of energy users.
EPSRC, EP/G031681/1 SUPERGEN- HiDEF (Highly Distributed Energy Futures) (Co-I). The HiDEF consortium is developing approaches, technologies and policies for an electricity system that delivers sustainability and security through the widespread deployment of distributed energy resource and new regulation, policy and market designs. October 2009 – September 2013
ESRC, ES/I006664/1. EVALOC (evaluation of the impacts, effectiveness and success of low carbon communities) (Co-I). The project aims to assess and explain changes in energy use within six English and Welsh communities that were funded by the DECC Low Carbon Communities Challenge. We are taking an action research approach, working with the communities to develop and test 'toolkits' for monitoring, evaluation and communication; also monitoring, modelling and mapping the impacts of DECC interventions on energy consumption. January 2011 – June 2014
EPSRC, EP/I000194/1. ADEPT (Advanced Dynamic Energy Pricing and Tariffs) (http://gow.epsrc.ac.uk/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/I000194/1) (Co-I). There is a growing interest in dynamic electricity tariffs, with growth in variable and embedded generation, the introduction of plug-in electric vehicles, decreasing national generating capacity, and the prospect of short-term load-shedding in both commercial and domestic sectors. This project addresses the question of how complicated a dynamic electricity tariff should be in order to meet system and social requirements. October 2010 – September 2013
Advisory and Review
2011 Energy advisory panel, Which? magazine
2011 Social science advisory group, ‘Customer-led Network Revolution’, (Low Carbon Networks Fund project), Durham Energy Institute
2011 Advisory group, ‘The Role of Community–based Initiatives in Energy Saving’, Southampton University
2006-2010 external evaluation team member for the UK Energy Demand Research Project (EDRP), a set of trials of domestic smart meters and associated interventions
Sarah has reviewed for Energy Policy, Building Research and Information, Energy Efficiency, Climate Policy, Environmental Science and Policy, Energy and Buildings, Environment and Planning A, Environmental Politics, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, Journal of Consumer Research. Journal of Environmental Psychology, The Energy Journal, Transactions of IEEE Power & Energy, Umweltpsychologie, UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, National Science Foundation (USA), American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Electric Power Research Institute (USA), Brattle Group, Norwegian Research Council, Belgian Science Policy Office.
She is a member of the peer review college, Economic and Social Research Council.
- Darby, S.J. (2013) The role of smart meters in carbon management. Carbon Management, 4(2): 111-113. Editorial.
- Darby, S. (2012) Load management at home: advantages and drawbacks of some 'active demand side' options. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy, 227(1): 9-17.
- Darby, S.J. (2012) Metering: EU policy and implications for fuel poor households. Energy Policy, 49: 98-106.
- Darby, S.J. and McKenna, E. (2012) Social implications of residential demand response in cool temperate climates. Energy Policy, 49: 759-769.
- Mayne, R., Darby, S. and Hamilton, J. (2012) A literature review for the EVALOC project: Individual and Social Influences on Energy Use. EVALOC Working Paper.
- Darby, S. (2011) Load management at home: advantages and drawbacks of some 'active demand side' options. Proceedings, 2nd International Conference in Microgeneration and Related Technologies in Buildings, Microgen '11', University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, April 4-6.
- Darby, S. (2011) The 'time' dimension of electricity, options for the householder and implications for policy. Proceedings, World Renewable Energy Congress, Linköping, Sweden, May 8-11.
- Darby, S., Anderson, W. and White, V. (2011) Large-scale testing of new technology: some lessons from the UK smart metering and feedback trials. Proceedings, European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Summer Study Paper 7-524..
- Darby, S.J. (eds.) (2011) Load management at home: Advantages and drawbacks of some active demand side options. 2nd International Conference on Microgeneration and Related Technologies, 4-6 April 2011.
- Darby, S.J. (2011) The timedimension of electricity, options for the householder and implications for policy..
- Gupta, R. and Darby, S. (ed.) (2011) Action research approach for gaining, and providing, feedback on domestic energy use to understand occupant behaviour, perceptions and expectations., Oxford, UK. Paper presented at Energy and People: Futures, complexity and challenges, 21-22 September, 2011.
- Novikova, A., Amecke, H., Neuhoff, K., Stelmakh, K., Kiss, B., Rohde, C., Dunkelberg, E., Weiss, J., Matscoss, K. and Darby, S. (2011) Information tools for energy demand reduction in existing residential buildings. CPI Report Climate Policy Initiative.
- Pyrko, J. and Darby, S. (2011) Conditions of energy efficient behaviour - a comparative study between Sweden and the UK. Energy Efficiency, 4(3): 393-408.
- Darby, S. (2010) Communicating energy demand: measurement, display and the language of things. In, Whitmarsh, L., O'Neill, S. and Lorenzoni, I. (eds.) Engaging the Public with Climate Change: Behaviour Change and Communication. Earthscan. 288 pp. ISBN: 9781844079285.
- Darby, S. (2010) Literature review for the energy demand research project. Change: 1-30.
- Darby, S. (2010) Smart metering: what potential for householder engagement? Building Research and Information, 38(5): 442-457.
- Darby, S. (2009) Conditions of behavioural changes towards efficient energy use - a comparative study between Sweden and the UK..
- Darby, S. (2009) Implementing Article 13 of the Energy Services Directive and defining the purpose of new metering infrastructures. Proceedings of the European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Summer Study. Paper(2262).
- Darby, S. (ed.) (2009) Literature review: real-time energy display functionality. Appendix 3 in Anderson, W. and White, V. Exploring the functionality of real-time home energy displays. Report to the Energy Saving Trust. Centre for Sustainable Energy, Bristol, UK
- Parag, Y. and Darby, S. (2009) Consumer--supplier--government triangular relations: Rethinking the UK policy path for carbon emissions reduction from the UK residential sector. Energy Policy, 37(10): 3984-3992.
- Parag, Y. and Darby, S. (2009) Consumer-supplier-government triangular relations: rethinking the UK policy path for carbon emissions reduction from the UK residential sector. Energy Policy, 37(10): 3984-3992.
- Darby, S. (2008) Energy feed back in buildings: improving the infrastructure for demand reduction. Building Research and Information, 36(5): 499-508.
- Darby, S. (2008) Why, What, When, How, Where and Who? Developing UK Policy on Metering, Billing and Energy Display Devices Why Develop Energy Feedback and Smart Metering? Buildings: 70-81.
- Darby, S. (ed.) (2007) Enough is as good as a feast - Sufficiency as a policy. Proceedings of the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (eceee) 2007 Summer Study - Saving Energy - Just do it!, 4-9 June 2007. pp. 111-120(9). ISBN: 9789163308994.
- Darby, S. (2006) Social learning and public policy: lessons from an energy-conscious village. Energy Policy, 34(17): 2929-2940.
- Darby, S. (2006) The effectiveness of feedback on energy consumption. A review for DEFRA of the literature on metering, billing and direct displays..
- Palmer, J, Boardman, B., Bottrill, C., Darby, S., Hinnells, M., Killip, G., Layberry, R. and Lovell, H. (ed.) (2006) Reducing the environmental impact of housing. Final Report, Consultancy study in support of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollutions 26th Report on the Urban Environment.
- Darby, S. (ed.) (2005) Learning about energy - how will low-impact energy use become a way of life. Proceedings of the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (eceee) 2005 Summer Study - What works & who delivers?, 30 May - 4 June 2005. pp. 1335-1342(7). ISBN: 9163140020.
- Darby, S. (2003) Making sense of energy advice. Proceedings, European Council for an.
- Boardman, B. and Darby, S. (2000) Effective Advice: energy efficiency and the disadvantaged. Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, UK.
- Darby, S. (ed.) (2000) Making it obvious: designing feedback into energy consumption. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Household Appliances and Lighting. Italian Association of Energy Economists / EC-SAVE programme.
- Darby, S. (ed.) (1999) Energy advice - what is it worth? Proceedings of the European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Summer Study.
- Green, J., Darby, S., Maby, C. and Boardman, B. (ed.) (1998) Advice into action An evaluation of the effectiveness of energy advice to low income households. Keswick (United Kingdom): Eaga Charitable Trust
Selected recent presentations
Smart meter rollout: outlook and progress to date. Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum: Smart metering rollout: next steps for delivery. London, October 18th 2012
The UK Energy Demand Research Project - process and findings. Seminar, Finnish Association for Energy Economics. Helsinki, September 19th 2012
Energy in time. International seminar on 'Energy efficiency interventions, technologies and practices in the home', University of Birmingham, June 7th 2012
Utility metering and controls: what is changing, and why? Ethics Special Interest Group of the British Computer Society, London, March 19th 2012
Social aspects of smart grids. European workshop on policy, regulatory and social aspects of smart meters and applications. Organised by the Science and Innovation Network of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office / UK Energy Research Centre. London, December 14th 2011
Smart grids and energy users - how do they relate to each other? UK/US Smart Grid and Smart Metering Workshop, organised by Science and Innovation Network, FCO. British Consulate-General, Boston, MA, October 31st 2011
The householder as end-user - and more. Keynote address, World Renewable Energy Congress. Linkoping, Sweden, May 12th 2011
New practices and institutions - developing an active electricity demand side. GB Smart Customer Response Trials Workshop. Organised by LCNF/Sustainability First. London, May 25th 2011
Science Media Centre press briefing on smart metering. London, July 12th 2010