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  • 1.
    Hasselqvist, Hanna
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Renström, Sara
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Digital Systems, Prototyping Society.
    Strömberg, Helena
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Håkansson, Maria
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, Energy and Resources.
    Household energy resilience: Shifting perspectives to reveal opportunities for renewable energy futures in affluent contexts2022In: Energy Research & Social Science, ISSN 2214-6296, E-ISSN 2214-6326, Vol. 88, article id 102498Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Energy resilience is an important focus for energy policy and research, since the energy system is increasingly facing challenges such as power shortages, e.g. due to increased renewable energy production, and risks of power outages caused by extreme weathers. Typically, energy resilience in these contexts focuses on infrastructure and securing supply of electricity despite disturbances. This paper contributes a complementary perspective on resilience, which takes households as a starting point for investigating resilience. Building on understandings of resilience from several disciplines, we suggest a definition of household energy resilience that can be used to explore how households can ensure a good life in a future with variable availability of electricity. Furthermore, we draw on current ideas of future domestic energy use in energy affluent contexts (backup energy sources, energy efficiency, flexibility, and energy sufficiency) to create a framework for exploring household energy resilience. We find a potential for diversity within and between the different ideas, that is not always present in mainstream visions of future energy use. With the perspective of household energy resilience, we wish to challenge the perception of electricity demand as non-negotiable and to reveal opportunities for supporting households in becoming more resilient in an uncertain future. © 2022 The Authors

  • 2.
    Isaksson, Charlotta
    et al.
    University West, Sweden.
    Carolina, Hiller
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Built Environment, Energy and Circular Economy.
    Lane, Anna-Lena
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden (2017-2019), Built Environment, Energy and Circular Economy.
    Active, passive, non-existing or conditional?: Social relations shaping energy use at workplaces2019In: Energy Research & Social Science, ISSN 2214-6296, E-ISSN 2214-6326, Vol. 51, p. 148-155Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Energy efficiency concerns the entire workplace and a cooperative approach is important for achieving ambitious energy reduction targets. Despite this, many organisations still mainly regard energy efficiency as a technical issue involving just a few specialists. A focus on the social relations and processes that shape work on energy issues is lacking. The aim of this paper is to illuminate and explore social relations between the staff driving energy issues and their co-workers. The analysis presented is based upon two features shaping their mutual engagement for reducing energy use: the communication strategy on energy issues undertaken by the workplace and the support for energy efficiency and conservation among the staff. The study provides insights gained from an interview study done in a Swedish organisation as well as from social science research in the field. The result is a conceptual framework that describes four relationships between the drivers of change and their co-workers. These relationships are characterized as active, passive, non-existing and conditional engagement in energy efficiency and conservation. The framework can be used as a tool for identifying social constraints and possibilities for reducing the use of energy at workplaces as well as in other contexts.

  • 3.
    Karlsson, Bodil
    et al.
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, Energy and Resources. University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Håkansson, Maria
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, Energy and Resources.
    Sjöblom, Jonas
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Ström, Henrik
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Light my fire but don't choke on the smoke: Wellbeing and pollution from fireplace use in Sweden2020In: Energy Research & Social Science, ISSN 2214-6296, E-ISSN 2214-6326, Vol. 69, article id 101696Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Fireplaces are popular in Northern Europe. However, particle emissions from fireplaces have been identified as an environmental problem and a health problem. User behaviors affect particle emissions and the success of particle reducing technologies to a large extent. This interdisciplinary study aims to investigate why and how people use their fireplaces, including what emotions people associate with fire, and their interest in learning more about fire making and changing behavior related to fire making. It does so by applying an emotion regulation model in a novel way. In total, 146 Swedish individuals owning a fireplace (the majority had wood stoves, a few had tiled stoves, boilers or other types of fireplaces) participated in an online questionnaire about motives, behaviors, knowledge, and interest in learning and changing behavior. The most common motives for using a fireplace in this sample were complementary heating and “cozy fire making”. Our results suggest that watching a fire can aid in regulating emotions from unpleasant stress towards joy and provide a pleasant atmosphere for socialization, and that wood fuel may be a preferred complementary energy choice because it provides beautiful light, comfortable warmth, beautiful design and safety. People reporting emotional motives for using a fireplace also reported an interest in changing behavior.

  • 4.
    von Platten, Jenny
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment.
    Energy poverty in Sweden: Using flexibility capital to describe household vulnerability to rising energy prices2022In: Energy Research & Social Science, ISSN 2214-6296, E-ISSN 2214-6326, Vol. 91, article id 102746Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Energy poverty has been kept at bay in Sweden for the past decades owing to several beneficial circumstances. However, geopolitical pressure and an accelerating energy transition are changing the circumstances and exposing vulnerabilities to energy poverty in Sweden particularly connected to electricity price peaks. The circumstantial nature of the exposed risks for energy poverty motivates a conceptualisation of the concept in Sweden through the energy vulnerability framework. Also recognising that flexibility is an important ability to be able to dodge short-term price peaks, this paper combines the energy vulnerability literature with the concept of flexibility capital. Using national survey data from 2021, this study seeks to explore vulnerability to heating-related energy poverty in Swedish single-family housing by analysing factors influencing households' self-perceived ability to pay for heating as well as their self-perceived flexibility capital. Logistic regression models revealed that there are geographic as well as sociodemographic factors influencing the energy vulnerability experienced by Swedish households. Extending the understanding of energy poverty vulnerability beyond mere heating affordability provides a more nuanced understanding of the different types of risks that may emerge among households; for example, low affordability combined with low flexibility capital increases the risk for financial effects of energy poverty, whereas low affordability combined with high flexibility capital increases the risk for energy poverty affecting comfort, convenience and wellbeing. By integrating energy vulnerability with flexibility capital, this paper contributes to a more holistic understanding of challenges connected to a transitioning energy system in general and in the Swedish context in particular. © 2022 The Author

  • 5.
    von Platten, Jenny
    et al.
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, System Transition and Service Innovation. Lund University, Sweden.
    Mangold, Mikael
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, System Transition and Service Innovation.
    Johansson, Tim
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, System Transition and Service Innovation.
    Mjörnell, Kristina
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment. Lund University, Sweden.
    Energy efficiency at what cost?: Unjust burden-sharing of rent increases in extensive energy retrofitting projects in Sweden2022In: Energy Research & Social Science, ISSN 2214-6296, E-ISSN 2214-6326, Vol. 92, article id 102791Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although renovation costs can lead to rent increases in energy retrofitting, it is often assumed that reductions in energy costs will counterbalance the rent increase. In Swedish multifamily housing, energy costs for heating are however generally included as a fixed component in the monthly rent, meaning that the rent increase after energy retrofitting corresponds to the net change in rent level as well as energy costs for heating. This makes Sweden a methodologically advantageous setting for studying tenants' cost burden of energy retrofitting. The aim of this study was thus to investigate how energy performance improvement has affected rent increases in Swedish renovation projects between 2013 and 2019. Utilising a national database of multifamily housing, it was found that energy retrofitting entailed a cost relief for tenants in renovation projects with smaller investments. However, in renovation projects with larger investments, energy retrofitting entailed a cost burden for tenants. Moreover, public housing companies had conducted a high share of the extensive energy retrofits, leading to low-income tenant groups being disproportionately subjected to cost burdens of energy retrofitting. On the contrary, light energy retrofits with a cost relief for energy efficiency had been rather evenly distributed across income groups. These results indicate ongoing conflicts with the ability-to-pay principle in the energy transition of Swedish multifamily housing, and suggest that if low-investment energy retrofits are not sufficient for upcoming objectives and requirements, subsidies could be needed to compensate low-income tenants for the cost burden of extensive energy retrofitting. © 2022 The Author(s)

  • 6.
    von Platten, Jenny
    et al.
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, System Transition and Service Innovation.
    Mangold, Mikael
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, System Transition and Service Innovation.
    Mjörnell, Kristina
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Safety and Transport. Lund University, Sweden.
    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 transition2020In: Energy Research & Social Science, ISSN 2214-6296, E-ISSN 2214-6326, Vol. 70, article id 101807Article in journal (Refereed)
    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)

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