Chapter 3, page 16: "individuals act as 'micro-resource managers.'"
Chapter 3, page 16: "Shove makes a similar point, noting that 'when energy is in the spotlight, the services it provides are in the shadows' (Shove, 1997, p. 271).
"the austerity regime has rendered the new energy poor in Greece both vulnerable and governable" (Petrova & Prodromidou, 2019:1395).
The above quote is important to think about for our EP article, particularly in terms of energy governance. We can make connections between the Utility Commissions across states, the Utility companies here in PA, and restructured LIHEAP funding under the lens of energy governance and sovereignity in general. Making these connections, we could highlight how certain orders, policies, and restructuring have made it possible for certain communities to be governed and be added to the classes of the energy insecure.
"..the experiences of the 'new energy poor', who are vulnerable to decreased incomes, high prices, new taxes, and 'inadequate socio-technical infrastructures' (Petrova & Prodromidou, 2019:1380).
We can think of the above as a parallel condition to what many across the United States (and the world) are now experiencing as a product of the pandemic. More specifically, we can draw connections between the unemployed status of many, significantly reduced income paralleled with continued utility, insurance, and other household expenses as a condition of new energy poverty, and new poverty in general. As such, our article should make inferences on the potential (almost certain) expansion of energy poverty at the onset, throughout, and following the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as effective protective measures and policies continue to be disregarded.
"Austerity measures have produced unevenly distributed socio-spatial vulnerabilities" (Petrova & Prodromidou, 2019:1383).
Thinking about this quote, we can relate austerity measures to policies that have been institued (or not) during the current pandemic and that may have very well increased and expanded the class of those classified as energy insecure. We should keep in mind this quote when we analyze responses to our surveys, but also as we draft our articles with orders related to moratoriums, increased funding to LIHEAP, and utility companies' responses in Pennsylvania.
"There are three pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental – an idea that has figured strongly in policy discussions since the Bruntdland report of 1987" (Riniken et al., 2019:91).
As earlier quotations mention the nexus between energy, history, cultures, and contexts, we can think about this quote in terms of the ways in which economic, social, and environmental factors shape energy policies, energy demand, and energy consumption. In connection to the DVRPC Climate Adaptation Forum, we can also think of the above in terms of smart grids being able to address the trilemma talked about in the reading, given it tends to address all three pillars of sustainability through 'smart gridding'. Nevertheless, and particularly as related to our EVP project, many policies, state, and utility actions fail to consider meeting affordability, security, or decarbonization as they try to meet the commodification of energy demand.
"Energy consumption is indirectly shaped by policies that are not specifically concerned with energy or carbon emissions as such, but that have profound consequences for both" (Riniken et al., 2019:3).
This really centers some of the discussions we have had in the past couple of months, as particularly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, residential and commercial consumption, and the implications of the former on the latter. More specifically, this quote can help us ideate ways in which we may or may not structure our 'future outlooks' section in our article. We could cite policies now that work to shape energy consumptions in households and in commercial spaces and work to mention or think of ways in which those same non-energy policies could be amended to include energy considerations.
"Energy is conceptualised as something that is abstracted from what people do, and from the histories, cultures and contexts in which energy demand is constituted' (Riniken et al., 2019, 2).
This quote is important to consider in our article and as we continue the EVP project because it helps situate energy insecurity (vulnerability) within its contexts. Understanding how people cope with energy (expenses and production), what history certain groups or cultures have with energy access, can help formulate a comprehensive classification of energy services and help us identify what kind of policies and interventions are needed in those communities. To keep in mind, however, is these interventions shall not come with a drastic or harmful modification of the communities where actions are operated.
In talks of Energy Demand in the work, important conceptualizations of energy are with regards to its commodity status (Riniken et al., 2019:8). Relevant to our own articles and research, this idea of commodity speaks very directly to our 'energy rights' section. A right cannot certainly be a commodity. In fact, this idea of a commodity is built-up through the paragraph that highlights how energy end-services cannot truly be separated by social practices and should, thus, be considered in their contribution to creating minimal healthy living conditions (Riniken et al., 2019:8).
Discourses of environmentality and the ‘fear of power cuts’ have been socially engineered with the intention to produce ‘responsible’ citizens who respect norms and practices essential for the (re)conﬁguration of post-crisis capitalism 1396
The rejection of ‘archaic’ technologies that were used in similar times of crisis reﬂects the struggle of the ‘new energy poor’ to hold on ‘modern’ means that belonged to them before the crisis. 1394
Electricity bill non-payment has been perceived as a signiﬁer of intentional resistance, despite failing to decrease the overall disconnection rate. This resistance, we would argue, is directed against the notion of austerity as an ideology based on a ‘moral economy’ that recruits ethical subjects to come together and solve the problem 1393
Electricity bill non-payment has been perceived as a signiﬁer of intentional resistance, despite failing to decrease the overall disconnection rate. This resistance, we would argue, is directed against the notion of austerity as an ideology based on a ‘moral economy’ that recruits ethical subjects to come together and solve the problem 1391
The existence of such constraints means that people try to operate with the means they have available, and in ways that are shaped by forces outside their immediate control 1390
"On a national level, questions of energy or fuel poverty – the inability to afford to keep one’s home adequately heated – tend to focus on the cost of energy" (90)
"Keeping energy systems working and avoiding failure is important, but we need to look at how to achieve this beyond building more supply to meet an unquestioned demand. Starting with asking what in fact energy systems are working for would be a good first step, opening up a question that is systematically ignored by classic ‘keeping the lights on’ thinking."
"In other words, the shift to service-based business models does not inherently challenge ‘meta-services’ or reduce levels of energy service demand"
"To conclude, policies and strategies that focus on energy as a resource are inherently limited" 23
"Much of this literature supposes that basic needs (for nutrition, shelter, clean water, education, thermal comfort, a non-threatening environment, etc.) are universal. Exactly how these needs are met changes over time, but the contention is that there are certain unwavering requirements and that these account for some, but perhaps not all, energy demands (de Decker, 2018)" (9)