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Policy prescriptions to address energy and transport poverty in the United Kingdom

Author

Listed:
  • Benjamin K. Sovacool

    (University of Sussex
    Aarhus University
    Boston University)

  • Paul Upham

    (University of Sussex
    University of Groningen)

  • Mari Martiskainen

    (University of Sussex)

  • Kirsten E. H. Jenkins

    (University of Edinburgh)

  • Gerardo A. Torres Contreras

    (University of Sussex)

  • Neil Simcock

    (Liverpool John Moores University)

Abstract

Tens of millions of households across Europe struggle to afford adequate electricity and heating services and reliable transportation, while recent high fuel prices could lead to an increase in excess winter deaths. Tackling energy and transport poverty is thus of paramount policy importance. Here we document the drivers and lived experiences of energy and transport poverty in the United Kingdom, based on public focus groups and expert interviews. We find a set of policies that resonate with both expert planners and members of the public, implying they have a level of political and social acceptability that other measures may be lacking, notably: mandatory landlord energy efficiency upgrades, increasing the extent of financial assistance to households, cheaper (or even free) bus and train fares and restarting and expanding bus services. We buttress these findings with further suggestions for energy and transport system redesign that better meets emerging principles of energy and social justice.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin K. Sovacool & Paul Upham & Mari Martiskainen & Kirsten E. H. Jenkins & Gerardo A. Torres Contreras & Neil Simcock, 2023. "Policy prescriptions to address energy and transport poverty in the United Kingdom," Nature Energy, Nature, vol. 8(3), pages 273-283, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:nat:natene:v:8:y:2023:i:3:d:10.1038_s41560-023-01196-w
    DOI: 10.1038/s41560-023-01196-w
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Gordon, Joel A. & Balta-Ozkan, Nazmiye & Nabavi, Seyed Ali, 2023. "Price promises, trust deficits and energy justice: Public perceptions of hydrogen homes," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    3. Al Kez, Dlzar & Foley, Aoife & Abdul, Zrar Khald & Del Rio, Dylan Furszyfer, 2024. "Energy poverty prediction in the United Kingdom: A machine learning approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    4. Milena Büchs & Noel Cass & Caroline Mullen & Karen Lucas & Diana Ivanova, 2023. "Emissions savings from equitable energy demand reduction," Nature Energy, Nature, vol. 8(7), pages 758-769, July.
    5. Brown, Alastair & Hampton, Harrison & Foley, Aoife & Furszyfer Del Rio, Dylan & Lowans, Christopher & Caulfield, Brian, 2023. "Understanding domestic consumer attitude and behaviour towards energy: A study on the Island of Ireland," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 181(C).
    6. Dagher, Leila & Jamali, Ibrahim & Abi Younes, Oussama, 2023. "Extreme energy poverty: The aftermath of Lebanon’s economic collapse," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 183(C).

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