The ethos of energy efficiency: Framing consumer considerations in Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEnergy Research & Social Science. 2015, 8 24-31. 10.1016/j.erss.2015.04.005
This paper analyzes the moral aspects of household energy use and energy efficiency, and introduces the concept of the ethos of energy efficiency. Based on focus groups and domestication theory, it examines how consumers make sense of energy efficiency issues. Rather than focusing on economic concerns, focus group participants framed matters of energy consumption and energy efficiency in terms of moral considerations. Four partly conflicting moral positions were identified as being constitutive of the ethos of energy efficiency: saving, merit, needs, and entitlement. These moralities provided the focus group participants with arguments related to their decisions on energy consumption and efficiency. Arguments were made subject to moral calculations, through which the four moral positions were seen to moderate each other.