Energy information engagement among the poor: Predicting participation in a free workshop


© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Although one option for increasing low-income consumer knowledge regarding household energy use is the development of free or low-cost educational workshops, exactly how to promote attendance for such workshops remains an open question. Here we briefly outline results from a set of in-depth interviews with applicants to the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program in Durham County, NC, USA. Models predicting intended attendance at workshops or community meetings suggested that factors such as utility costs, social norms, perceived ability to plan ahead, and perceived accessibility of energy information all matter more than one's general attitude toward energy workshop attendance. Many respondents expressed interest in energy education materials and faced challenging utility costs, but meeting attendance appears to be constrained by the everyday life obstacles of the poor.






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Publication Info

Southwell, B, K Ronneberg, K Shen, E Jorgens, J Hazel, R Alemu, J Ross, L Richman, et al. (2014). Energy information engagement among the poor: Predicting participation in a free workshop. Energy Research and Social Science, 4(C). pp. 21–22. 10.1016/j.erss.2014.08.003 Retrieved from

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Brian Glen Southwell

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine

Dr. Brian Southwell is an adjunct professor with Duke's Department of Medicine and also has worked with the Social Science Research Institute and the Energy Initiative. Southwell directs the Science in the Public Sphere program at RTI International and also is a faculty member at UNC-Chapel Hill. He hosts The Measure of Everyday Life, a weekly public radio show, is the author of Social Networks and Popular Understanding of Science and Health (Johns Hopkins University Press), and edited Innovations in Home Energy Use: A Sourcebook (RTI Press) and Misinformation and Mass Audiences (University of Texas Press).


Laura Smart Richman

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences

Dr. Richman's research broadly focuses on understanding factors that contribute to health disparities for disadvantaged groups. Some research areas include the role of social status, gentrification, and social network characteristics on health behaviors and outcomes. 

Click here for .pdf links to my publications

Areas of expertise: Health Behavior and Health Measurement

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