What matters? Unlocking householders’ flexibility towards cooling automation in India

Olufolahan O. Osunmuyiwa, Andrew D. Peacock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


In emerging economies like India, where air conditioners are projected to triple by 2050 — mostly from household use — demand response programs such as cooling automation have gained currency as a suitable approach to address peak electricity from cooling demand. Environmentally commoning/intentional communities are classic contexts in which flexible cooling consumption might be easily realised. Utilising materialist theory and a six-month cooling automation trial and workshops with twenty households in an intentional community in South India, this study explores factors that shape householders’ pliability or rejection of cooling automation. Results reveal that while commoning identity plays a significant role in householders' flexibility towards automation, extreme heat creates a clash between householders' environmental beliefs and comfort needs, altering their response to automation. We conclude by discussing the theoretical implications arising from these findings and suggest how utilities could respond to these dynamics to foster a transition to a low-carbon energy system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100704
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Early online date16 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Air conditioner
  • Cooling automation
  • Demand response
  • Hot-humid climates
  • Intentional communities
  • User behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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