Marta Baltruszewicz, Julia Steinberger, Jouni Paavola, Diana Ivanova, Lina Brand-Correa and Anne Owen
How energy relates to human need satisfaction, for whom, and with what wellbeing outcomes has remained under-researched. We address this gap by investigating the relationship between household energy footprint and well-being in the UK. Our results indicate that car and air transportation contributed the most to the total energy footprint of high-income and high-energy users. We find significant inequalities in the distribution of energy use and that the top energy users with high well-being are driving excess energy use. A more detailed analysis reveals that individuals with protected characteristics are particularly vulnerable to energy poverty and that their contribution to overall energy demand is negligible. We find that focusing on well-being steers the attention towards questions of sufficiency, overconsumption as well as the context within which we satisfy needs. Tackling the issues of energy poverty and inequalities are important for lowering energy demand and need to be addressed as a matter of climate justice.
Baltruszewicz, M., Steinberger,J.K., Paavola,J., Ivanova, D,. Brand-Correa, L.I. and Owen, A. 2023. Social outcomes of energy use in the United Kingdom: Household energy footprints and their links to well-being. Ecological Economics, 205: 107686. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2022.107686Opens in a new tab Open access
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