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A matter of metrics?: How analysing per capita energy use changes the face of energy efficient housing in Sweden and reveals injustices in the energy transition
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, System Transition and Service Innovation.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7568-3334
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, System Transition and Service Innovation.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5044-6989
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Safety and Transport. Lund University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3863-0740
2020 (English)In: Energy Research & Social Science, ISSN 2214-6296, E-ISSN 2214-6326, Vol. 70, article id 101807Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Improving energy performance of the housing stock continues to be an important undertaking in the energy transition of many EU member states. However, tendencies of low-income households generally living in buildings with low energy performance pose a challenge for this transition, and cases of ‘renoviction’ and ‘green gentrification’ are becoming more and more noticed in the scientific community. More so, questions regarding the distributive justice of costs and burdens in the energy transition of the housing stock have been raised. In this paper, we approach this problem from a perspective of energy performance metrics. Although energy performance (kWh/m2, year) is generally lower in buildings inhabited by low-income households, residential density—and thus building utilisation—tends to be higher. By measuring per capita energy use instead of area-normalised energy use, we investigate if a high residential density can offset a low energy performance and change the perception of which buildings are considered energy inefficient and which are not. Results showed that by measuring per capita energy use instead of area-normalised energy use, energy inefficient buildings were found in high-income city centres instead of in low-income suburbs of Swedish cities. Moreover, there has been an unjust distribution of the imposition of the energy transition over the past decade where the residents with the initially lowest per capita energy use have carried a disproportionately high share of the energy savings. This suggests that a change of energy performance metrics could offer an approach for a more socially just and sustainable energy transition of the housing stock. © 2020 The Author(s)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd , 2020. Vol. 70, article id 101807
Keywords [en]
Distributive justice, Energy Performance Certificate, Energy performance metrics, Energy transition, Per capita energy use, Residential density
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-50421DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2020.101807Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85092931930OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-50421DiVA, id: diva2:1505900
Note

Funding details: 2017-01449; Funding text 1: This work was supported by The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas) [grant number 2017-01449] within the project National Building-Specific Information (NBI).

Available from: 2020-12-02 Created: 2020-12-02 Last updated: 2023-05-25Bibliographically approved

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von Platten, JennyMangold, MikaelMjörnell, Kristina

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