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August 22, 2023

Your View: Cutting building emissions requires a ‘sociotechnical’ effort

Smart meters require smart people. (Photo: Rawpixel/Envato)
Smart meters require smart people. (Photo: Rawpixel/Envato)

From Kathryn Janda, University College London.

In response to the Editor’s note of August 21, “Bringing down building emissions requires a delicate balancing act“, I would like to offer a further nuance to the point that Alex made. The delicacy of the balancing act is not just between technology and policy. Work that I have done with colleagues at UCL, Oxford, and elsewhere suggests that bringing down emissions is not just a technological problem. It is a sociotechnical problem.

While it is true that you can only manage what you measure, you can neither make additional measurements or manage what you learn from these data without greater levels of staff and attention. Smart meters and additional data streams require smart people and organisations to enact appropriate energy management decisions.

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