Achieving sustainability transitions in residential energy use across Europe: The importance of problem framings

Charlotte Louise Jensen, Gary Goggins, Inge Røpke, Frances Fahy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the residential sector is central to European energy policy. However, the speed and scale of sustainable energy transitions need to accelerate. There is a growing consensus that meeting energy targets is highly dependent on interrelated socio-material and cultural aspects of energy use. New ways of framing energy demand that go beyond dominant efficiency- and behavior models are needed. Recognizing these concerns, this paper reports on a review of 1067 Sustainable Energy Consumption Initiatives (SECIs) that aim to reduce residential energy use across 30 European countries. The initiatives are categorized and a corresponding Problem Framing Typology (PFT) is developed, highlighting important aspects of different types of problem framings. The typology contains four categories including 1) Changes in technology; 2) Changes in individual behavior; 3) Changes in everyday life situations; 4) and Changes in complex interactions. Applying the PFT to the 1067 SECIs shows that the vast majority (75%) of SECIs are positioned within category 1 and 2, indicating a lingering bias towards technocratic consumer behavioral strategies. The limitations of such approaches are discussed, and it is argued that systematically addressing interactions between technology, businesses, culture and everyday-life is more likely to lead to long-term transformation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume133
ISSN0301-4215
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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residential energy
energy use
typology
Sustainable development
Energy utilization
sustainability
Energy policy
energy policy
Gas emissions
Greenhouse gases
energy
greenhouse gas
Europe
energy consumption
Industry

Cite this

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title = "Achieving sustainability transitions in residential energy use across Europe: The importance of problem framings",
abstract = "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the residential sector is central to European energy policy. However, the speed and scale of sustainable energy transitions need to accelerate. There is a growing consensus that meeting energy targets is highly dependent on interrelated socio-material and cultural aspects of energy use. New ways of framing energy demand that go beyond dominant efficiency- and behavior models are needed. Recognizing these concerns, this paper reports on a review of 1067 Sustainable Energy Consumption Initiatives (SECIs) that aim to reduce residential energy use across 30 European countries. The initiatives are categorized and a corresponding Problem Framing Typology (PFT) is developed, highlighting important aspects of different types of problem framings. The typology contains four categories including 1) Changes in technology; 2) Changes in individual behavior; 3) Changes in everyday life situations; 4) and Changes in complex interactions. Applying the PFT to the 1067 SECIs shows that the vast majority (75{\%}) of SECIs are positioned within category 1 and 2, indicating a lingering bias towards technocratic consumer behavioral strategies. The limitations of such approaches are discussed, and it is argued that systematically addressing interactions between technology, businesses, culture and everyday-life is more likely to lead to long-term transformation.",
author = "Jensen, {Charlotte Louise} and Gary Goggins and Inge R{\o}pke and Frances Fahy",
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doi = "10.1016/j.enpol.2019.110927",
language = "English",
volume = "133",
journal = "Energy Policy",
issn = "0301-4215",
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}

Achieving sustainability transitions in residential energy use across Europe: The importance of problem framings. / Jensen, Charlotte Louise; Goggins, Gary ; Røpke, Inge; Fahy, Frances.

In: Energy Policy, Vol. 133, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Achieving sustainability transitions in residential energy use across Europe: The importance of problem framings

AU - Jensen, Charlotte Louise

AU - Goggins, Gary

AU - Røpke, Inge

AU - Fahy, Frances

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the residential sector is central to European energy policy. However, the speed and scale of sustainable energy transitions need to accelerate. There is a growing consensus that meeting energy targets is highly dependent on interrelated socio-material and cultural aspects of energy use. New ways of framing energy demand that go beyond dominant efficiency- and behavior models are needed. Recognizing these concerns, this paper reports on a review of 1067 Sustainable Energy Consumption Initiatives (SECIs) that aim to reduce residential energy use across 30 European countries. The initiatives are categorized and a corresponding Problem Framing Typology (PFT) is developed, highlighting important aspects of different types of problem framings. The typology contains four categories including 1) Changes in technology; 2) Changes in individual behavior; 3) Changes in everyday life situations; 4) and Changes in complex interactions. Applying the PFT to the 1067 SECIs shows that the vast majority (75%) of SECIs are positioned within category 1 and 2, indicating a lingering bias towards technocratic consumer behavioral strategies. The limitations of such approaches are discussed, and it is argued that systematically addressing interactions between technology, businesses, culture and everyday-life is more likely to lead to long-term transformation.

AB - Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the residential sector is central to European energy policy. However, the speed and scale of sustainable energy transitions need to accelerate. There is a growing consensus that meeting energy targets is highly dependent on interrelated socio-material and cultural aspects of energy use. New ways of framing energy demand that go beyond dominant efficiency- and behavior models are needed. Recognizing these concerns, this paper reports on a review of 1067 Sustainable Energy Consumption Initiatives (SECIs) that aim to reduce residential energy use across 30 European countries. The initiatives are categorized and a corresponding Problem Framing Typology (PFT) is developed, highlighting important aspects of different types of problem framings. The typology contains four categories including 1) Changes in technology; 2) Changes in individual behavior; 3) Changes in everyday life situations; 4) and Changes in complex interactions. Applying the PFT to the 1067 SECIs shows that the vast majority (75%) of SECIs are positioned within category 1 and 2, indicating a lingering bias towards technocratic consumer behavioral strategies. The limitations of such approaches are discussed, and it is argued that systematically addressing interactions between technology, businesses, culture and everyday-life is more likely to lead to long-term transformation.

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DO - 10.1016/j.enpol.2019.110927

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VL - 133

JO - Energy Policy

JF - Energy Policy

SN - 0301-4215

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