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RP7: New Technology and the Lived Experience

This Research Package, led by Dr Tom Hargreaves (School of Environmental Sciences), explores qualitatively the responses of vulnerable/fuel poor households to the lived experience of energy system changes at the household level.

Core research questions include: What are the impacts of new household energy technologies on fuel poor households? In particular, what are the impacts on householders’ everyday practices, social identities and energy use? What are the implications for policymakers and housing providers when addressing equity and justice in energy system change at the household level?

The research involves 15-25 semi-structured interviews with fuel poor/energy vulnerable households in Broadland Housing Association accommodation, with a comparison with a ‘control’ group of non-fuel poor households. 5-10 interviews are being conducted with relevant policy makers and energy utility representatives to provide further background and context on existing policy measures. The research explores the four attributes of energy vulnerability in fuel poor households: Challenge, Capacity for action, Multi-dimensionality, and Power. 

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