Energy, Society and Place Research Unit

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham

Energy in GEES toolkit: Diaries

Students can deepen their understanding of the use of qualitative methods as well as their energy use patterns with the aid of energy diaries.

Students can investigate their energy consumption by analysing the notes in their diaries by monitoring and measuring their energy consumption over a period of time. The notes from each day can be organised in time sections (e.g. from 10am to 5pm and from 5pm to 10pm). Students should describe the energy services (e.g. heating, lighting, electricity) and devices (e.g. computer, stove, hairdryer, vacuum cleaner, iron) that they have used in those periods, so as to reflect their energy consumption practices. These descriptive notes can be supported by readings of electricity and gas meters, which can show the daily energy consumption in students’ households.

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