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This report summarises the research findings from the second stage of the Digital Energy Futures project, based on qualitative research with 72 households across Ausgrid and AusNet Services distribution networks located in New South Wales and Victoria.

The research was mainly conducted using digital ethnographic methods. Participants were recruited through a survey sent to Ausgrid and AusNet Services residential customers. Households from seven different consumer groups were included, based on their survey responses and further information gathered throughout the ethnographic research.

The findings were analysed to understand emerging trends in digital energy futures across seven domains of everyday practice, where the majority of energy demand and peak electricity demand takes place, and/or where significant changes are emerging.

Each practice domain discussed in the full report provides the following sections:

  • Relevant technologies: A list of technologies that are either continuing to be used in association with the trends or are emerging, accelerating and speculative.
  • Key emerging trends: An overview of the concerns, practices, routines and priorities that are unfolding now or likely to unfold in the near future, involving digital and energy technologies.
  • Explaining the trends: Further explanation as to why the trends are occurring.
  • Everyday future visions: Participants’ hopes, anxieties and aspirations for their futures.
  • Complications and resistances: Countertrends or additional circumstances that complicate the key emerging trends or lead to resistance from some people and consumer groups.
  • Implications for electricity demand: The likely outcomes of the trends for residential electricity demand (including peak demand, average demand and other infrastructure or policy implications).
  • Comparison to industry visions: How the ethnographic findings compare with digital technology and energy predictions analysed during the first stage of the Digital Energy Futures project.
  • Case study vignettes: Short illustrative stories, each featuring one participant household to show how the trends are emerging in relation to people’s everyday lives.
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