Energy poverty and social relations:a capabilities approach

Middlemiss, Lucie, Ambrosio-Albala, Pepa, Emmel, Nick, Gillard, Ross, Gilbertson, Jan, Hargreaves, Thomas, Mullen, Caroline, Ryan, Tony, Snell, Carolyn and Tod, Angela (2019) Energy poverty and social relations:a capabilities approach. Energy Research & Social Science. ISSN 2214-6296 (In Press)

[img] PDF (Final accepted version) - Submitted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 December 2099.

Download (339kB) | Request a copy

    Abstract

    Energy poverty is widely understood to be a complex and multi-faceted problem, with a range of drivers. In this paper we draw on secondary qualitative data on energy poverty from the UK, as well as conceptual thinking informed by the capabilities approach, to explore a previously understudied facet of energy poverty: social relations. We focus particularly on how relationships with family, friends, agencies and distant others impact on people’s ability to cope with energy poverty. We find that the connection between social relations and energy poverty is recursive: good social relations can both enable access to energy services, and be a product of such access. This connection is also shaped by structural factors, such as access to a range of resources, membership of particular collectivities, the need to perform social roles, and the common reasons used to explain poverty and energy use. Our work suggests that attempts to address energy poverty need to take into account the quality of people’s social relations, as well as the potential impact of policy and practice on social relations, given that people rely on their friends and families for information support and advice, on key agency workers for access to resources, and are also constrained by discourses of poverty.

    Item Type: Article
    Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
    Depositing User: LivePure Connector
    Date Deposited: 07 May 2019 16:30
    Last Modified: 21 May 2019 00:54
    URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/70862
    DOI:

    Actions (login required)

    View Item