The everyday experiences of Broadland tenants have informed a new scientific paper on ‘Emotions and fuel poverty’.
The University of East Anglia study emphasises the limits of approaches to fuel poverty that focus on energy efficiency and tariff-switching. Energy vulnerability (EV) research increasingly recognises the importance of subjective experiences. Drawing on the social science of emotions, the UEA team argue that emotions shape and impact on routes in or out of energy vulnerability.
The study was carried out by the Science, Society and Sustainability (3S) Research Group and Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. Their survey drew on qualitative interviews, exploring the everyday emotional experience of energy vulnerability among Broadland Housing tenants. In total 20 Broadland tenants were interviewed, along with 10 members of our frontline housing team.
Noel Longhurst, a lecturer in 3S, who was part of the project team, explains:
The survey shows how fear, worry and care are significant in shaping tenants’ energy use and so can contribute to energy vulnerability.
Emotions can also play a significant role in shaping support for energy-vulnerable households. Embarrassment, stigma, trust and care can both help and hinder efforts to ameliorate fuel poverty.
We are delighted to support this important study, and thank our tenants who shared their experiences with the research team. We are always looking for ways to reduce the impact of fuel poverty among our tenants, from sharing energy-saving tips to installing solar panels and the latest smart energy meters.
The UEA study calls for a greater focus on the everyday experiences of fuel poverty to balance out the technical understandings that currently dominate policy.
Broadland has GOLD status in the Sustainable Homes Index for Tomorrow (SHIFT) Awards. Following our success in 2016, in 2018 we are the highest scoring social landlord. This achievement reflects the work and care we put into the sustainability of our homes and the change we have implemented across the business.