Everyday governance of energy systems

Abstract

The proposed transition to a low-carbon society faces challenges, as it is occurring too slowly to achieve the goals set by international and national governmental bodies, and gaps are found between available energy-efficiency technologies and their appropriate use. The governance of domestic energy systems has attracted European research attention, and the findings illustrate how materials, competence, and meaning influence energy productivity in domestic settings and how accountability is enacted by connecting people and technologies. The present research cites Swedish examples of how energy efficiency has been improved by involving multiple local actors, such as consumers, energy utilities, property companies, and local governments. Examples are analysed through the lens of social change and mundane governance theory, illustrating how spaces and places often overlooked as too mundane to be considered in policy prove, when analysed in more detail, to be important for energy efficiency. The results indicate that “governance pairs” (e.g., “households/lighting” and “caretakers/heating systems”) are more or less successfully held together and influence accountability and governance possibilities. The present analyses demonstrate that, while governance is often portrayed in terms of causality, everyday practices involving governance pairs are messier and less predictable than anticipated. These results call for the upgrading of research into everyday life and for bottom–up approaches to energy studies. Accountability – crucial to closing the energy-efficiency gap and understood in the context of mundane governance – can advance our energy-efficiency thinking and action.Formas - Everday lif

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Last time updated on 02/07/2017

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