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The Household Independent Power Project (HIPP) conducts investigations and engagement around personal and household-scale decisions, innovation, and behavior related to broader questions of sustainable energy system transition. Historically, personal and household energy decision-making options have been limited but show strong potential for growth. HIPP focuses its lens where household and personal choices, actions, and decisions may be particularly dynamic or influential factors in how energy systems are evolving. The HIPP Personal Power Lending Library (PPLL) launches at three US project sites in spring 2015 under the “Power Up” slogan. The Lending Library facilitates access to renewable-energy-powered electronics and communication devices and investigation of the potential for mainstreaming such devices in the US and, ultimately, globally. For instance, products that enable cell phones to be powered by portable solar or kinetic energy sources instead of wall outlets are rarely seen outside of niche markets for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, even though surveys indicate consumer preferences for such convenient and “green” options. This project systematically explores factors associated with the availability, uptake and scarcity of these sorts of products to isolate critical factors, deriving hypotheses about policy, market, R&D, and educational advances in this arena. Beyond households, these investigations hold implications for wider energy system design, governance and performance.




January 2015 — Ongoing