Liz Kelley



Dr. Elizabeth Kelley is an anthropologist with nearly 15 years of experience conducting ethnography and qualitative research. Her formal training in linguistic and cultural anthropology helps her identify drivers and barriers to participation and how energy fits into everyday life on the human side of the meter. In her role as a Director of Qualitative Research at ILLUME, she trains staff and guides our work in ethnographic interviews, focus groups, concept testing groups, usability testing, message testing, and virtual interviews and focus groups. She is passionate about elevating customer voices through research and helping clients create solutions that align with and speak to customers’ values. When Liz is not uncovering insights for our clients into customer perceptions, preferences, and behaviors, you can find her reading a good book or baking with her son.

Liz is located in Washington, D.C.

Related Resources

Best Practices in Health and Energy Programs

Join ILLUME Director, Dr. Liz Kelley and Senior Analyst, Emily Morris as they discuss best practices in health and energy programs to help us answer the question: How are utilities and program administrators thinking about and exploring the health and energy nexus?
Click on the title to listen to the podcast.

Now We Are Cooking! What We Know about Consumer Adoption of Induction Cooktops

This presentation, presented at BECC 2023, will show that despite having advantages, induction cooking has only a small share of the residential cooking market.
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Shifts in Energy Use Through Time-Varying and Dynamic Pricing Rates

Rolling out dynamic pricing (or real-time pricing) rates is a challenge, but new rate designs will be increasingly necessary to address periods of grid stress during peak times. ILLUME supported Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in understanding customer openness to an RTP rate across sectors (Residential, SMB, Ag, and C&I) through qualitative research as part of a mixed-methods project.

Advancing Energy Efficiency Behaviors Findings Webinar Presentation

In this webinar, presentations were shared that address a DOE-funded study by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and ILLUME Advising. As part of this webinar, Liz Kelley shared the study’s findings about how homeowners make decisions connected to home energy use and how this will inform future electrification opportunities and barriers for decarbonization across a variety of communities.
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Addressing Multifamily Hesitance to Participation in Energy Efficiency Programs

This paper will build from the research and experience in three northeastern states to identify barriers to participation related to housing stock issues, as well as for landlords and renters. The paper concludes with recommendations on how to increase the program participation by landlords, property managers, and renters, as well as broader strategies to address housing stock issues.
Click on the title to read the white paper.

Tunnel Vision: The Impact of Ignoring Behavior in Technological Innovation

In this white paper presented at the ACEEE Summer Study 2022 Conference, the authors explore three case studies conducted with three utilities and organizations testing emerging commercial equipment. Read how the authors present an R&D framework that creates a parallel path to technological investigation, one that focuses understanding on the social and behavioral aspects of a technology, and identifies the interventions needed to overcome barriers introduced by them.
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Evaluating Workforce Programs – Toward Designing more Effective and Creative Interventions

In this white paper presented at the ACEEE Summer Study 2022 Conference, we share research conducted for the state of Connecticut. This study reviewed programs in place around the country, as well as within the state. Written by Alex Dunn, Liz Kelley, Riana Johnson, with co-authors Lisa Skumatz (SERA), and Bob Wirtshafter (Wirtshafter Associates), this white paper will show our findings and recommendations on how to deliver effective workforce development program improvement.
Click on the title to read the white paper.

Translation is not Enough – Meaningfully Serving Communities Speaking Languages Other than English

This white paper draws on four studies conducted across the nation where the ILLUME team has conducted research in languages other than English. Read this paper, written by Dr. Liz Kelley, Kimberly Jaeger Johnson, and Silvia Milla (Salt River Project), to see ILLUME’s recommendations on how utilities and others can better serve their customers who speak languages other than English.
(Click title to read the White Paper)

The Energy Equity Playbook

Join ILLUME’s team of researchers as we break down a) ways to understand the challenge, b) considerations for defining equity, c) ways to bring communities to the table, and d) how to effectively determine and measure who benefits from clean energy investments.
Click on the title to watch the webinar.

Mobility, Public Transportation, and Culture in the Time of the Pandemic

COVID-19 has Americans rethinking how to get from point A to point B, and in the process, changing the character of our cities.
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Response to COVID-19: Program Design Innovations

ILLUME proposes ideas for program design innovation as the energy industry asks “what now?” when it comes to communications, programs, and research activities in this moment of social distancing.
Click on the title to read the report.

Flattening the Curve: Discussion and Strategies in a Time of COVID-19

ILLUME facilitates a forum as clients ask questions of each other, share ideas, and create the (virtual) connections we need to move successfully through this unprecedented time.
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Research Considerations in the Time of COVID-19

Laura Schauer and Dr. Liz Kelley discuss if and how to move research efforts forward as COVID-19 shifts American modes of interacting, working, and moving about.
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If, When, and How to Conduct Research in a Time of Crisis

We consider if, when, and how to engage customers and constituents in research efforts through this pandemic.
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Research Considerations in the Time of COVID-19

We navigate how the energy industry responds and adapts to COVID-19 in a preview of our webinar, “Research Considerations in the Time of COVID-19.”
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Energy Efficiency Deserts

Lisa Obear presents findings from her research with Liz Kelley and Amanda Maass exploring energy efficiency deserts in Metro Atlanta.
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Natural Gas Water Heating and HVAC Installer Research Report

In their NEEA report, Alex Dunn, Liz Kelley, Shannon Kahl, Amanda Maass, and Andrew Mielcarek share their observations about the supply chain from research with Pacific Northwest HVAC and water-heating equipment contractors.
Click on the title to read the report.

Customer Insights Meet Business Constraints: Going to Market in a Regulated Environment

At the EPIC conference in 2018, Liz Kelley and Amanda Dwelley talked about their experience helping a utility go to market with a competitive smart home offering in a regulated environment.
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