A time-geographical mixed-methods approach: studying the complexities of energy and water use in households

  • Helena Köhler Department of Thematic Studies; Environmental Change, Linköping university
  • Kristina Trygg

Abstract

The objective of this study is to describe and assess a methodology based on a time geographical approach for studying energy and water use in households. Energy and water resources are often used in routinized activities, and in activities considered as private, normal and ordinary, which makes them difficult to explore in research. In this article, we give an account of a mixed-methods approach using time diaries, metering data, interviews and simple observations, and analyse and discuss its methodological and empirical implications from two Swedish case studies. We conclude that the suggested combination of methods, despite some complications, provides a comprehensive account of household energy and water use to which various theoretical perspectives could apply. Energy and water using activities are defined in terms of time, place, quantity, material and social context, and are related to user perspectives on resource use and usage data. Such knowledge provides important input for information campaigns, technological retrofitting and other systemic changes in striving towards sustainability.

Section
Reviews and Essays
Published
Apr 29, 2019
How to Cite
Köhler, H., & Trygg, K. (2019). A time-geographical mixed-methods approach: studying the complexities of energy and water use in households. Fennia - International Journal of Geography, 197(1), 108-120. https://doi.org/10.11143/fennia.68860