Participant information

Thank you! You have been selected as one of 72 households across NSW and VIC to take part in the Digital Energy Futures “virtual visits”.

Digital Energy Futures (DEF) is a landmark project, drawing on future-focused social science research, to better understand how emerging technologies are shaping the way people live – and ultimately, the future energy needs of Australian households.

The team

Our team is comprised of world-leading researchers, from the Emerging Technologies Research Lab (ETLab), specialising in the fields of design, anthropology, sociology and geography. You’ll be meeting with one of four researchers:

  • Professor Sarah Pink is Director of the ETLab and a pioneer in emerging intelligent technologies, automation, digital futures and design for wellbeing.
  • Associate Professor Yolande Strengers is a leading expert in investigating the energy and gender effects of digital, emerging and smart technologies.
  • Dr Larissa Nicholls uses in-home ethnographic research to explore interactions between energy and social, physical and financial wellbeing. The impacts of energy policy and emerging technologies for vulnerable and disadvantaged households are a key research focus.
  • Dr Kari Dahlgren is a social anthropologist and ethnographer interested in the social and ethical aspects of energy production and consumption in Australia.

We are well-versed in digital and virtual interview methods, with Sarah Pink having previously pioneered many online methods that are becoming more mainstream during the pandemic.

The process

By now, a member of our research team would have been in touch to update you on the virtual visits and schedule you in for your first interview.

There will be two virtual visits per household. We have your interests in mind, so each visit will be scheduled to allow for time constraints and your level of technical capabilities.

Each virtual visit will be conducted by video chat. Our researchers prefer to use Zoom, but we will discuss the platform you are most comfortable with.

Interview 1:
Getting to Know You

Catch-up phone call

Interview 2:
Virtual Hangout


2-4 weeks after Interview 1

4-6 weeks after Interview

Between 60-90 minutes

Approx 10 minutes

Between 45-60 minutes

Interview 1: Getting to Know You

This visit is to introduce you to the research program and discuss:

  • Your typical day: daily/ weekly home routines and the technology you use
  • Your energy use: how do you currently access and use energy in your home? What are your hopes, aspirations and concerns about accessing and using energy in the future?

After Interview 1, you will be invited to take part in an optional activity. These activities will be matched against your home routines and energy usage and may include: a video diary, virtual home tour, or creative future scenario.

Virtual Catch Up

This is to check how you’re getting on with any optional activities you’re participating in.

Interview 2: Virtual Hangout

This final “visit” will explore the activities you were involved in since our first interview. We will discuss your energy and technology routines, and your hopes, concerns, aspirations, and priorities in relation to future energy needs and technology trends.

DEF is a partnership between Monash University, the Australian Research Council, Ausgrid, AusNet Services and Energy Consumers Australia Limited
For any further enquiries, please contact:

Hayley McKee, Project Officer
Mobile number 0492 050 704

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels