Plugging the Gap Between Energy Policy and the Lived Experience of Energy Poverty: Five Principles for a Multidisciplinary Approach
This book chapter by Lucie Middlemiss, Ross Gillard, Victoria Pellicer, Koen Straver has been published with open access today. We wrote the chapter using funding from SHAPE ENERGY which sponsored interdisciplinary and international teams of experts to collaborate together on energy policy issues across the social sciences and humanities.
We see the chapter as an outline of our grounded perspective on energy poverty (based on the lived experience), and use it to offer advise as to how this can be incorporated in policy design. In the chapter, we illustrate the value of a multidisciplinary approach to energy poverty policy, drawing on insights from research into the lived experience of energy poverty in three European countries. We argue that understanding the lived experience of energy poverty is critical in designing energy policies which are fair, effective and aligned with people’s daily lives. In addition, we contend that bringing together a range of disciplines to examine dimensions of the lived experience of energy poverty (such as housing, employment, education, social policy, health, energy, etc.) is essential to give breadth to our understanding of this challenging and multifaceted condition. We propose five principles for policy design, informed by our multidisciplinary understanding of the lived experience. These principles can be applied at a range of scales (local, regional, national and European) to help ensure that the energy poor are both well served, and represented, by energy policy.