Kim O'Sullivan

Kim is a Senior Research Fellow with He Kāinga Oranga - Housing and Health Research Programme, where she has undertaken energy poverty and health research since 2008.

Kim’s research explores the relationships between energy poverty (fuel poverty), energy use behaviours, energy efficiency of housing and buildings, and the important interactions of these with health and wellbeing. She is currently leading research exploring the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on home energy use in New Zealand and health outcomes of the government’s Winter Energy Payment, and is a collaborator on an international project exploring energy poverty in Canada. She holds a Marsden Fast Start research grant: Heating Up, Cooling Off: Household management of summer heat flows. She has experience in energy poverty and health research, consumer experiences and impacts of prepay electricity, involving young people in the research process, and exploring energy use among people who work from home. Kim has expertise in the design and use of qualitative methods, surveys, mixed methods, and participatory research methods; linking and integrating diverse datasets to produce robust evidence on the extent and health impacts of energy poverty, and pioneering digital research methods for public health and energy research.

Key publications

  1. Riva, M. Kingunza Makasi, S. Dufresne, P. Toth, M.
    Energy poverty in Canada: Prevalence, social and spatial distribution, and implications for research and policy.
    Energy Research & Social Science,
    81 (2021) 102237.
  2. Rotmann, S. Mundaca, L. Ambrose, A. Ashby, K. V.
    An in-depth review of the literature on 'hard-to-reach' energy users [Extended abstract].
    Proceedings of BEHAVE 2020-2021: The 6th European Conference on Behaviour Change for Energy Efficiency
    pp. 178-181
  3. Rotmann, S. Ambrose, A. Karlin, B. Forster, H. Mundaca, L.
    To what extent has Covid-19 impacted hard-to-reach energy audiences? [Extended abstract].
    Proceedings of BEHAVE 2020-2021: The 6th European Conference on Behaviour Change for Energy Efficiency
    pp. 193-196
  4. von Benzon, N.
    Analysing ‘messy’ data.
    In N. von Benzon, M. Holton, C. Wilkinson & S. Wilkinson (Eds.),
    Creative methods for human geographers. (pp. 351-364). London, UK: Sage.
  5. Sim, D. Stanley, J. Rowan, R. Harris Clark, I. Morris, L. The Waiopehu College 2015 Research Team
    Cool? Young people investigate living in cold housing and fuel poverty. A mixed methods action research study.
    Social Science and Medicine – Population Health,
    3, 66-74.
  6. (2011).
    Making the connection: the relationship between fuel poverty, electricity disconnection and prepayment metering.
    Energy Policy,
    39, 733-741.