Consumer engagement in alternative energy--Can the regulators and suppliers be trusted?
The introduction of alternative energy requires collaboration between consumers, energy suppliers and regulators. A fundamental question is, will consumers engage with this agenda and, in particular, will they trust the institutions sufficiently to enable the collaborations that are needed. Present indications suggest that consumers have little trust in the established institutions and tend to reject such collaborations. This article presents two case studies which explore the way consumers, regulators and energy suppliers interact in relation to alternative energy projects. It analyses the inter-group interactions from the perspective of symbolic interactionism and discusses the aspects that undermine trust, leading to suggestions for improved trust.
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