Years Active: 2004-2009

Demand reduction covers reduction in demand for both fossil fuel energy and energy services/ mobility. Demand reduction will contribute to reducing carbon emissions from energy use. One of the most challenging issues for energy policy is to identify how and to what extent demand can be reduced across all sectors of the economy. Meeting the challenge over the long term, for instance up to 2050, will require input from a wide range of disciplines, ranging from psychology to control engineering.

This theme was originally led by Dr Brenda Boardman and subsequently by Dr Nick Eyre of the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford. This theme was guided by the broad question: How much could demand reduction realistically contribute to energy policy goals?

Research Activity

  • Explored how people could choose less energy intensive journeys and modes of travel. Provided increased accessibility rather than increased mobility (e.g. increased provision of local facilities).
  • Investigated a mechanism for enabling individuals to reduce carbon emissions from household and personal transport energy use.
  • Ensured that carbon reductions were not made at the expense of the disadvantaged in society.
  • Identified how to deliver market changes through increased efficiency and provision of Low and Zero Carbon technologies through policy measures and financing mechanisms.
  • Investigated ways in which we could use less energy to produce, process, transport, sell and prepare the food that we buy. A multi-sectoral approach that will partly integrate with work done in other areas, such as demand reduction in transport and technology.
  • Explored how to pursue demand reduction ideas in other sectors of energy use, in particular industrial and commercial energy use, and freight transport.

Key Outputs

All the working papers and research reports produced by this theme can be found in the UKERC Publications Library.