Energy impacts of ICT – Insights from an everyday life perspective

Inge Røpke, Toke Haunstrup Christensen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The environmental implications of information and communication technology (ICT) have been the subject of study since the early 1990s. Although previous research covers energy issues quite extensively, the treatment of the energy impacts of ICT integration in everyday life is still inadequate. The purpose of this paper is to complement the existing research by applying a perspective from which everyday life takes centre stage. A theoretical framework for describing and analysing the energy impacts of everyday life is outlined, based on a combination of practice theory and time geography. The framework is applied to a discussion of how ICT co-develops with changing everyday practices and energy-demanding features of everyday life. Based on empirical findings, it is explored how the use of ICT affects practices in relation to time and space, and it is argued that the changes may increase energy consumption considerably. The findings do not suggest that the integration of ICT in everyday practices inherently results in a more energy-intensive everyday life. ICTs have a great potential for reducing energy consumption, but the realisation of this depends on the wider economic and political conditions.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTelematics and Informatics
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)348–361
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Practice theory
    • ICT and time
    • ICT and space
    • Energy impacts of ICT
    • ICT in everyday life


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