How moving home influences appliance ownership: A Passivhaus case study

Chris Foulds (Lead Author), Jane Powell, Gill Seyfang

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12 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Low carbon dwellings shift the focus to electricity consumption and appliances by significantly lowering space heating energy consumption. Using a UK Passivhaus (low carbon) case study, interviews and pre/post-move-in appliance audits were employed to investigate how moving home can change the appliance requirements of appliance-using practices.

Changes in appliance ownership were due to differences in how appliance-using practices (e.g. cooking, laundering, homemaking) were being performed. Existing/new appliances complemented/conflicted with a new home on the basis of whether the social meanings of specific appliance-using practices (e.g. stylishness, convenience, thermal comfort, cleanliness) could be met. This was evident, when moving home more generally, by households buying new modern appliances and managing spatial constraints. More specifically, regarding Passivhaus, hosting and homemaking practices were performed in ways that met thermal comfort expectations, in addition to appliance purchasing also being influenced by a fear that the Passivhaus technologies could fail. Whilst skills and competences were needed to perform appliance-using practices, these were less prominent in influencing appliance ownership changes.

Conclusions include reflections on how the elements of appliance-using practices change when moving home, as well as what adhering to building standards could mean for the standardisation of appliance-using practices and domestic life more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-472
Number of pages18
JournalEnergy Efficiency
Issue number2
Early online date10 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • Electrical devices
  • purchasing
  • social practice theory
  • domestic energy consumption
  • low energy homes;
  • Passivhaus

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