In the name of energy efficiency: Justice and energy poverty in the energy transition of Swedish housing
Jenny von Platten will talk about her recently defended PhD thesis.
Abstract: Climate change is imposing rapid action to improve energy efficiency in the housing stock. This action is needed and ultimately inevitable; but housing is more than a commodity in need of performance optimisation. Housing is a human right that is currently being distributed across societies with historically high levels of economic inequality, a development to which Sweden is no exception. Although the transition towards more sustainable housing stocks will bring about many benefits, there will also be burdens that in some way must be justly shared across these societies. In addition, there is a risk that new energy policy and changes in the energy system will cause new vulnerabilities to energy poverty – an issue from which Swedish households, in large, previously have been spared. To ensure a just energy transition, it is thus crucial to promote, and scrutinise, the inclusion of social perspectives in transition policymaking. In a targeted contribution to this cause, this thesis has explored how the energy transition of Swedish housing is affecting social justice and energy poverty; and followingly, how socioeconomic inequality is being affected in the name of energy efficiency.