Using smart meters to identify social and technological impacts on residential water consumption

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Studies have shown that householders' perceptions of their water use are often not well matched with their actual water use. There has been less research, however, investigating whether this bias is related to specific types of end use and/or specific types of socio-demographic and socio-demographic household profiles. A high resolution smart metering study producing a detailed end use event registry as well as psycho-social and socio-demographic surveys, stock inventory audits and self-reported water diaries was completed for 250 households located in South-east Queensland, Australia. The study examined the contributions of end uses to total water use for each group identified as ‘low’, ‘medium’ or ‘high’ water users. Analyses were conducted to examine the socio-demographic variables such as income, percentage of water efficient stock, family size and composition, that characterise each self-identified water usage group. The paper concludes with a discussion of the general characteristics of groups that overestimate and underestimate their water use and how this knowledge can be used to inform demand management policy such as targeted community education programmes.

Keywords: attitudes, end uses, micro-component, smart meters, trace analysis

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