Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Otago research seeks energy efficiency in transport sector

Otago research to seek energy efficiency in NZ’s transport sector

How to create an energy efficient transport sector is a question about to be tackled by University of Otago researchers in a multi-million dollar, multi-year project.

The University’s Centre for Sustainability has won a bid to run a national project looking at energy uses in New Zealand’s homes, small businesses and transport sector.

The Energy Cultures 2 team, headed by Centre Director Dr Janet Stephenson and consumer psychologist Professor Rob Lawson, has been funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to look at energy efficiency, particularly in transport. The team have been awarded more than $3 million over four years in the Ministry’s 2012 science investment round announced today.

Dr Stephenson says the project hopes to answer the questions: “What energy efficiencies can be achieved with new transport technologies and practices? How can markets be encouraged to deliver them, and consumers to adopt them?”

“We will be looking into the future of transport, at what technologies are becoming available, what new fuels are likely, and how households and businesses might adopt these or change their behaviour in other ways. And then, how can we help make this road to the future a smooth one rather than full of bumps and diversions?”

The project, which has been funded for four years initially, also includes co-funding from EECA for national household/transport surveys, and Z Energy for research on fuel customers.

Dr Stephenson says the project will involve researchers from many disciplines at Otago, and additional expertise from Waikato University and two specialist consultancies. International collaborators include Oxford and Durham Universities in England, and universities in Sweden, Australia and America.

“This project leads on from our original three-year Energy Cultures project, which looked at energy efficiency in homes, and what were the barriers to uptake of efficiency measures,” she says.

“We created a framework for that project which involved looking at the interactions between the energy technologies in people’s homes, their energy practices, and their beliefs and understandings.

“The results have given us lots of insights into what prompts behaviour change, and we’ve been able to suggest practical solutions to overcoming barriers and improving our homes as a result.

“The team will now use that same framework in this new project, but extend that to small businesses and transport.

“There are huge cost savings and productivity gains to be made. We hope that our work will support a faster and more effective uptake of energy efficiency in all these areas.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Joel Coen's Monochromatic Macbeth

The Bard of Avon may well be smirking up the sleeves of his lace doublet at the irony of Will Smith's Oscar debacle, but now that the initial furore has dissipated, it's worth revisiting the movie for which Denzel Washington was also nominated. More>>

Howard Davis: Kenneth Branagh’s Black & White Belfast

Branagh has assembled a wonderful cast, including Ciarán Hinds, a gently formidable actor who well deserves his Oscar nomination, and Judi Dench, who steals every scene she’s in. More>>

Howard Davis: Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune - A Brief History

So many elements of Herbert’s novel have since become tropes of popular SciFi that Villeneuve’s film sometimes seems deceptively derivative. What makes all this nonsense essential viewing is his astonishing visual sensibility. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which has been republished by Te Papa press. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland