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A global perspective on domestic energy deprivation: Overcoming the energy poverty–fuel poverty binary


This paper offers an integrated conceptual framework for the research and amelioration of energy deprivation in the home. It starts from the premise that all forms of energy and fuel poverty – in developed and developing countries alike – are underpinned by a common condition: the inability to attain a socially and materially necessitated level of domestic energy services. We consider the functionings provided by energy demand in the residential domain in order to advance two claims: first, that domestic energy deprivation in its different guises and forms is fundamentally tied to the ineffective operation of the socio-technical pathways that allow for the fulfilment of household energy needs, and as such is best analyzed by understanding the constitution of different energy services (heating, lighting, etc.) in the home. Second, we emphasize the ability of vulnerability thinking to encapsulate the driving forces of domestic energy deprivation via a comprehensive analytical matrix. The paper identifies the main components and implications of energy service and vulnerability approaches as they relate to domestic energy deprivation across the world.