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The diversity penalty: Domestic energy injustice and ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom

16 August, 2022

The diversity penalty: Domestic energy injustice and ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom

Stefan Bouzarovski

Amish Sarpotdar

Mari Martiskainen

Research paper   FAIR

Stefan Bouzarovski, Manon Burbidge, Amish Sarpotdar and Mari Martiskainen

Abstract

This paper examines the relationships between ethnicity and end-use energy injustices in the United Kingdom, focusing on the drivers and experiences of fuel poverty and energy vulnerability among ethnic minorities. In response to a systematic lack of research, evidence and debate, we use evidence from a combination of sources: online open-ended interviews with professionals in the energy and housing sectors, the Ethnicity Boost survey on energy market engagement undertaken by Citizens Advice, and secondary data from think tanks and government bodies in the energy and housing sectors. Building on conceptual approaches from energy justice scholarship – in terms of recognition, spatial, procedural and distributional aspects – we provide insights into how inequalities are manifested, how they persist, and how place-based patterns of deprivation arise through practices of marginalization, precarization and exclusion. We find evidence to suggest that Black African communities, in particular, are affected across multiple axes of vulnerability. We propose directions for future research and policy, foregrounding the need for considering differentiated, intersectional and compounding energy vulnerabilities among ethnic minorities in the UK.

Publication details

Bouzarovski, S., Burbidge, M., Sarpotdar, A. and Martiskainen, M. 2022. The diversity penalty: Domestic energy injustice and ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom. Energy Research & Social Science, 91: 102716. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2022.102716Opens in a new tab 

Banner photo credit: Alireza Attari on Unsplash