Effects of social participation and the emergence of voluntary social interactions on household power-saving practices in post-disaster Kanagawa, Japan

In Energy Policy
Volume (Issue): 54 (2013)
Peer-reviewed Article

An online social survey was conducted to reveal household electricity-saving behaviour and its relationship with participation in social group activities, as well as face-to-face and online social interactions, i.e. information sources used and information dissemination through personal networks, in a disaster-affected region of Kanagawa, Japan, during the summer of 2011. The study confirms the positive contribution of respondents’ participation in social group activities to the number of power-saving practices conducted. It also reveals the emergence of voluntary social face-to-face and/or online interactions for power-saving. The study suggests it would be useful to provide effective information to proactive individuals who are closely engaged in power-saving in households and who are proactively disseminating power-saving information practices to others. Such individuals include 1) women who have school-children and who are proactively engaging in the social interactions of their children’s schools, other parents, neighbours, as well as their own parents and relatives; and 2) men and women who are using various kinds of online interaction tools and are also engaged in face-to-face social interactions.