Frameworks, paradigms and practices for low energy futures

This project will explore how assessment of co-benefits of energy demand reduction measures relate to citizens’ well-being, and how this affects social norms and economic framing for policy decisions on ways of reducing energy consumption, whilst delivering benefits to citizens. Key aims are to develop a useful and inclusive framework for UK Net Zero policy, to assess how different economic paradigms influence different stakeholder perspectives and to inform process for governing low energy demand pathways. Practice-based work will include a focus on assessing prospects for reducing energy demand for food refrigeration, exploring the roles of food industry actors and social norms in food production, distribution and consumption have played over time in increasing the demand for refrigeration, in logistics and in the home.

Research questions:

  • How should economic, social and environmental co-benefits of energy demand reduction measures be assessed?
  • How do these co-benefits relate to frameworks for assessing individual and social dimensions of wellbeing?
  • What would be a useful framework for assessing the co-benefits and wellbeing impacts of energy demand reduction measures in UK net zero pathways?
  • How do green growth and post-growth framings for governing energy transitions incorporate assessment of economic, social and environmental benefits of energy demand reduction measures?
  • How do these framings influence UK policy decisions on energy demand reduction measures?
  • How do these framings relate to citizen priorities for action (linking to Project 3.1) and political feasibility of proposed energy demand reduction measures (linking to Project 3.2)?