MPH, PhD Candidate
Kimberley is currently living overseas so email is the best initial contact.
Kimberley is interested in fuel poverty (the inability to afford adequate household energy services including maintaining healthy indoor temperatures), prepayment metering, heating and healthy housing. She is currently writing her PhD thesis, and some of her work was recently profiled in the New Zealand Consumer magazine (http://www.consumer.org.nz/reports/fuel-poverty).
Kimberley’s Masters Thesis explored the social implications of fuel poverty in New Zealand, through a qualitative study with the participants of the Warm Homes Pilot Study. Her research found that fuel poverty is a real problem experienced by the participants of the study and their community, and that electricity vouchers are a useful tool that could be used as part of a range of policy options to reduce fuel poverty. Read Kim’s Masters thesis
Fuel poverty is a significant public health problem in New Zealand, and is partly driven by the cost of electricity. Prepayment metering is an electricity payment method often used by low-income consumers with electricity debt, or who have difficulty budgeting. Concerns have been raised about the possibility of prepayment meter users not crediting their electricity meter and going without electricity, or ‘self-disconnecting’, which may have serious health implications. Little is known about using prepayment metering from a consumer perspective in New Zealand, and this research aims to fill this knowledge gap. A postal survey carried out in 2010, and follow-up postal survey in 2011, investigates the advantages and disadvantages of prepayment metering from a consumer perspective, also exploring rates of ’self-disconnection’. Qualitative data from interviews with both prepayment and post-payment electricity consumers contributes further information on ‘self-disconnection’, and living with fuel poverty.
O’Sullivan, K., Howden-Chapman, P., and Fougere, G. Death by disconnection: the missing public health voice in newspaper coverage of a fuel poverty-related death. Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 2012 7(1): 51-60.
O’Sullivan, K.C, Howden-Chapman, P., Fougere, G. Making the connection: the relationship between fuel poverty, electricity disconnection and prepayment metering. Energy Policy, 2011; 39: 733-741.
Howden-Chapman, P., Viggers, H., Chapman, H., O’Sullivan, K., Telfar-Barnard, K., Lloyd, B. Tackling cold housing and fuel poverty in New Zealand: a review of policies, research and health impacts. Energy Policy, in press.
Howden-Chapman, P., Viggers, H., Chapman, R., O’Dea, D. Free, S., O’Sullivan, K. Warm Homes: drivers of demand for heating in the residential sector in New Zealand. Energy Policy, 2009, 37, 3387-3399.