Encountering energy precarity: geographies of fuel poverty among young adults in the UK

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This paper develops the notion of ‘energy precarity’ in order to uncover the governance practices and material conditions that drive and reproduce the inability of households to secure socially- and materially-necessitated levels of energy services in the home. The overarching aim is to foreground a geographical approach towards the study of domestic energy deprivation, by emphasizing the complex socio-spatial and material embeddedness of fuel poverty. The paper operationalizes these ideas via a field-based study of a group that has received limited attention in research and policy on fuel poverty: young adults living in privately rented accommodation. In evoking the experiences of such individuals, I employ energy precarity as a means of unpacking the spaces where energy deprivation is produced, experienced and contested. Among other findings, I highlight that people's fluid lifestyles and specific end-use energy demand patterns mean that energy deprivation metaphorically and physically overflows the limits of home, creating multiple performativities of precarity that have received very little attention to date.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-30
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Issue number1
Early online date21 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2017


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