Kim O'Sullivan

Kimberley is a Senior Research Fellow at the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities and He Kāinga Oranga / Housing and Health Programme, Te Whare Wānanga Otāgo ki Pōneke, University of Otago, Wellington, where she has been undertaking energy and health research since 2008. 

Kimberley’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. Kim is currently leading research exploring the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on home energy use in New Zealand and health outcomes of the 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.

Kim is Deputy Director of the Public Housing and Urban Regeneration: Maximising Wellbeing research programme.

Related Links

Key publications

  1. He Kāinga Oranga: reflections on 25 years of measuring the improved health, wellbeing and sustainability of healthier housing.
    Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand,
  2. Six ways to help fix energy hardship in New Zealand.
    Policy Quarterly,
    17, 4.
  3. Fong, S.Y.
    The experience of energy poverty among young adults living in subdivided units in Hong Kong: evidence from a phenomenological study.
    Wellbeing, Space and Society
  4. The value of experience: Including young people in energy poverty research.
    In N. Simcock, H. Thomson, S. Petrova & S. Bouzarovski (Eds.), Energy poverty and vulnerability: A global perspective.
    (pp 188-201). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
  5. Using Twitter to explore (un)healthy housing: Learning from the #Characterbuildings Campaign in New Zealand.
    International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health
    14(11), 1424.
  6. Sim, D. Stanley, J. Rowan, R. L. Harris Clark, I. K. Waiopehu College 2015 Research Team.
    Cool? Young people investigate living in cold housing and fuel poverty: A mixed methods action research study.
    SSM Population Health
    3, 66-74.
  7. Rotmann, S. Ambrose, A. Karlin, B. Forster, H. Mundaca, L.
    To what Extent has Covid‑19 Impacted Hard‑to‑reach Energy Audiences?
    BEHAVE 2020-2021the 6th European Conference on Behaviour Change for Energy Efficiency