Visualizing the Power of Renewables in the City of Monash

In collaboration with the City of Monash, the MCCCRH conducted a survey of 457 residents within the City of Monash primarily to understand the motivations and the barriers for households to install renewable energy in the home. Renewable energy technology includes roof -top solar, battery storage and solar hot water systems.

The survey found that the top five reasons residents highlighted for choosing renewable energy technologies in the home were reducing gas/electricity bill, environmental reasons, sustainability reasons, reducing household carbon emissions and reducing air pollution generated from coal/ fossil fuels / non-renewable resources. In contrast, the main reason homeowners without renewable technologies had avoided having them installed were installation costs, while renters highlighted their inability to make changes to their property as their biggest barrier.

A second purpose of the survey was to research the efficacy of a range of positive, easy to process messages about renewable energy. In the US research has found that ‘social learning’ through visualizing how renewable technology can rapidly transform electricity provision had a substantial influence over consumer decisions about domestic solar, battery storage and purchasing clean sources of energy. Establishing a proven model of how renewable and distributed energy works, has much greater potential for uptake than challenging consumers about the threats of dangerous climate change. However, the complexity of renewable technology can make it difficult for consumers to visualise and so this project will draw on expertise in animated urban modelling and ‘adaptive visualisation’ to explain the significance of zero-carbon initiatives in an engaging way. It is hoped that the outcomes of this research will provide a benchmark for how renewable programs communication and policies can be scaled up to entire cities across Australia.

For more information, please download the full Visualising the power of renewables in the City of Monash report here.