Flexibility poverty: ‘locked-in’ flexibility practices and electricity use among students
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionEnergy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning and Policy. 2021, . 10.1080/15567249.2021.1937403
The article provides a widened understanding of the concept of end-user flexibility and nuances the traditional individual-oriented approach often used in discussions on low carbon transitions. The authors draw on 75 narratives from of a group of end users that is often considered to be in a very flexible stage of life, namely students. They discuss the co-production of systems connected to material, structural and social factors that extend beyond individual willingness to be a flexible energy consumer. The article stresses that flexibility is shaped by living conditions, everyday life and social norms in particular ways that makes it hard to achieve for students and others living in shared households. The authors conclude that political incentives for low-carbon transitions typically exclude social groups such as students and other vulnerable groups in society, and hence may unintentionally create and reinforce what they term ‘flexibility poverty’.