Energy Devices and Political Consumerism in Reconfigured Energy Systems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter discusses political consumerism in the context of a transformation towards a low-carbon electricity system. Over the past decades, deregulation, liberalisation, and privatisation have opened up spaces for Western consumers to influence the greening of energy provision and consumption via the market. Electricity system reconfiguration means a growing diversity of home-based energy devices that engage consumers with energy in new and altered ways. With the use of smart meters, solar panels, and home batteries, passive energy users change into prosumers and comanagers of the grid. To understand the power of consumers in coshaping low-carbon electricity systems, the chapter shows the need to consider the politics of intermediation and technology. The chapter concludes that energy devices afford new individual and collective forms of engaging with energy, which opens up room for political consumerism not only in relation to energy production and consumption but also with regards to digital technologies and information flows.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Political Consumerism
EditorsMagnus Boström, Michele Behavior, Peter Oosterveer
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780190629038
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • prosumers
  • low-carbon electricity system
  • smart metering
  • solar panels
  • home batteries

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