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Energy Impoverishment: Addressing Capitalism's New Driver of Inequality


  • Lynne Chester


A rapidly growing number of households are suffering from energy impoverishment caused by escalating electricity prices, low income, and poor housing energy efficiency. Many households are experiencing considerable hardship in paying energy bills. This manifestation of inequality has followed the global restructuring of electricity sectors, and its incidence has become widespread across Europe, the UK, the US, New Zealand, and Australia. Current policy measures generally resemble "retrospective compensation" rather than addressing the root cause of the problem. This paper argues for a new policy approach that reconfigures electricity price formation in order to address this increasingly embedded social phenomenon.

Suggested Citation

  • Lynne Chester, 2014. "Energy Impoverishment: Addressing Capitalism's New Driver of Inequality," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 395-404.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:48:y:2014:i:2:p:395-404
    DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624480213

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    Cited by:

    1. Nepal, Rabindra & Foster, John, 2015. "Electricity networks privatization in Australia: An overview of the debate," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 12-24.

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