A novel mixed method smart metering approach to reconciling differences between perceived and actual residential end use water consumption
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Studies have shown that householders' perceptions of their water use are often not well matched with their actual water use. There has been less research however, investigating whether this bias is related to specific categories of end use and/or specific types of socio-demographic and socio-psychological household profiles. A high resolution smart metering study producing a detailed end use event registry as well as psycho-social and socio-demographic surveys, stock inventory audits and self-reported water diaries was completed for 252 households located in South-east Queensland, Australia. The study examined the contributions of end uses to total water use for each group that self-identified as "low", "medium" or "high" water users. A series of univariate tests (i.e. analysis of variance) were conducted to examine a range of variables that characterise each self-identified water usage group including age, income, percentage of water efficient stock (e.g. low flow taps), family size and composition and water conservation intentions and attitudes. The level of information consumers receive on their water bill as well as the diurnal end use patterns were also examined. The paper concludes with a discussion of the general characteristics (i.e. income, age, gender and family composition) of groups that tended to overestimate or underestimate their water use and how this knowledge can be used to inform demand management policy such as targeted community education programmes and community-based social marketing. Further, the potential for positive economic and sustainable development outcomes from this research is also discussed.
Journal of Cleaner Production
© 2011 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified