About Energy-24

People engage in many activities over the course of a day. Researchers from fields such as sociology, environmental science and health are interested in the time people spend in different everyday activities such as work, travel, housework and leisure. We are all aware that what we do around the home affects our electricity consumption. How much time we spend at home, how we set our heating and lighting, and how we use our appliances can all have an impact on energy use.

In this study we combine information about your activities and your electricity consumption to learn more about the relationship between the two. You will be given a diary, a wearable camera, an accelerometer and an electricity recorder to collect information, which we will analyse with you. This research is less concerned with ‘how much’ energy you use than trying to understand ‘when’ we use electricity.

Why is it important

Households use over half of the UK’s electricity during the ‘winter peak’ between 6 to 7pm. Knowing the activities before and after the electricity peak demand period can help to reduce it, encouraging a shift to flexible loads and integrating more efficiently renewables.

Understanding household energy consumption is increasingly important to UK energy policy and energy time use research promises important insights into how we can develop energy systems that work well for households and have low environmental impact.

Who is running the study

This is an Oxfordshire-based study being carried out by the Nuffield Department of Population Health, the Centre for Time Use Research and Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford.

The research team is:

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the study, please contact

Marina Topouzi, email: marina.topouzi@ouce.ox.ac.uk; tel. 01865 214944

Teresa Harms, email: teresa.harms@sociology.ox.ac.uk; tel. 01865 284465

If you want to be a participant in the Energy-24 CNTUR research study, please contact Marina Topouzi at marina.topouzi@ouce.ox.ac.uk.

Why you are invited to take part

You have been asked to take part because we want to learn more about the relationship between different activities and your home electricity use, about 'how much', 'when' and ‘what’ appliances contribute to your electricity consumption, so that we can help you understand and reduce your electricity.

Participation in this research is completely voluntary and you may choose to withdraw from the research at any time that you do not feel comfortable continuing without giving any reason. There is a small token of appreciation for participating in this research with a voucher of £20 for High Street stores.

Do you want to take part?

If you want to be a participant in the Energy-24 CNTUR research study, please contact Marina Topouzi at marina.topouzi@ouce.ox.ac.uk.

Who can take part

All Oxfordshire-based residents above the age of 18 years are welcome to participate.

How much of your time

The data collection takes 3 days, of which the 1st day is the Delivery day of the Survey Pack, the 2nd is the main Study day in which recording takes place and the 3rd day is the Collection day for devices and Survey Pack.

What we will ask you to do

  • Wear on your wrist a small activity watch (accelerometer) at all times for 2 days.
  • Wear a camera during waking hours for 1 day. You are free to take off the camera at any time, particularly when you want to maintain privacy or any other time that you or others might feel uncomfortable.
  • Fill out a 24-hour time-use paper diary.
  • An eMeter will be attached to your electricity meter and automatically will take readings of your electricity use for 1 day.

See the Survey Pack for information about the monitoring equipment, questionnaire survey and diary.

Data collection tools

Activity Watch (Accelerometer) Records for 48 hours fine movements like writing, or mild and moderate activities such as walking and cycling.
Intelligent Wearable Camera Records images of your 24 hour activities, location, temperature and light levels.
Electricity recorder (eMeter) Records your household’s electricity usage for 24 hours.
Time Use Diary Collects the sequence of your activities and routines related to electricity usage for 24 hours.
Participant information Questionnaire Collects information about your household along with technical information about the building, heating system, appliances etc.