Steering demand? Exploring the intersection of policy, practice and lives in energy systems change in Ireland

Mary Greene*, Frances Fahy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Recent advances in sociological investigations of energy-systems-change highlight the influence of a wide range of policies, beyond those typically considered relevant to energy, on energy demand. To this, a new field of (‘non-) energy policy’ scholarship is exploring the ways in which policies across multiple societal sectors ‘steer’ demand. However, much of this work has been conducted at the scale of institutions and systems, with comparatively little work exploring the intersection of policy and everyday life. As a result, little is known about the ways in which (non-)energy policies shape demand in the context of situated, domestic energy practices. This paper seeks to advance (non-)energy policy scholarship by connecting recent developments in systems-based perspectives with situated practice-theoretical investigations of everyday practices. Drawing on biographic-narrative analysis of Irish individuals’ energy practices and their evolution over time, it highlights the potential of experience-centred inquiry for generating novel empirical insights regarding the contexts and processes by which policies and practice intersect. An illustrative discussion of ‘traces of policy’ and their influence on individuals’ conduct reveal insights into the everyday contexts and socially differentiated ways in which policy ‘steers’ action. Analysis reveals that (non-)energy policies of various kinds have worked to steer action by setting agendas, shaping public discourse and delimiting action. Individuals are posited as active agents mediating the intersection of policy and practice in everyday life. The paper concludes by outlining the parameters of a new research agenda for experience-centred explorations of the intersections of policy, practice and lives in energy-systems-change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101331
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Volume61
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Fingerprint

system change
Energy policy
Ireland
energy
energy policy
demand
everyday life
energy shortage
experience
narrative
discourse

Keywords

  • Consumption
  • Everyday life
  • Invisible energy policy
  • Non-energy policy
  • Social practices

Cite this

@article{be135165e5d64bac9bc6fd3cdf253d40,
title = "Steering demand? Exploring the intersection of policy, practice and lives in energy systems change in Ireland",
abstract = "Recent advances in sociological investigations of energy-systems-change highlight the influence of a wide range of policies, beyond those typically considered relevant to energy, on energy demand. To this, a new field of (‘non-) energy policy’ scholarship is exploring the ways in which policies across multiple societal sectors ‘steer’ demand. However, much of this work has been conducted at the scale of institutions and systems, with comparatively little work exploring the intersection of policy and everyday life. As a result, little is known about the ways in which (non-)energy policies shape demand in the context of situated, domestic energy practices. This paper seeks to advance (non-)energy policy scholarship by connecting recent developments in systems-based perspectives with situated practice-theoretical investigations of everyday practices. Drawing on biographic-narrative analysis of Irish individuals’ energy practices and their evolution over time, it highlights the potential of experience-centred inquiry for generating novel empirical insights regarding the contexts and processes by which policies and practice intersect. An illustrative discussion of ‘traces of policy’ and their influence on individuals’ conduct reveal insights into the everyday contexts and socially differentiated ways in which policy ‘steers’ action. Analysis reveals that (non-)energy policies of various kinds have worked to steer action by setting agendas, shaping public discourse and delimiting action. Individuals are posited as active agents mediating the intersection of policy and practice in everyday life. The paper concludes by outlining the parameters of a new research agenda for experience-centred explorations of the intersections of policy, practice and lives in energy-systems-change.",
keywords = "Consumption, Everyday life, Invisible energy policy, Non-energy policy, Social practices",
author = "Mary Greene and Frances Fahy",
year = "2020",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.erss.2019.101331",
language = "English",
volume = "61",
journal = "Energy Research & Social Science",
issn = "2214-6296",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Steering demand? Exploring the intersection of policy, practice and lives in energy systems change in Ireland. / Greene, Mary; Fahy, Frances.

In: Energy Research and Social Science, Vol. 61, 101331, 01.03.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Steering demand? Exploring the intersection of policy, practice and lives in energy systems change in Ireland

AU - Greene, Mary

AU - Fahy, Frances

PY - 2020/3/1

Y1 - 2020/3/1

N2 - Recent advances in sociological investigations of energy-systems-change highlight the influence of a wide range of policies, beyond those typically considered relevant to energy, on energy demand. To this, a new field of (‘non-) energy policy’ scholarship is exploring the ways in which policies across multiple societal sectors ‘steer’ demand. However, much of this work has been conducted at the scale of institutions and systems, with comparatively little work exploring the intersection of policy and everyday life. As a result, little is known about the ways in which (non-)energy policies shape demand in the context of situated, domestic energy practices. This paper seeks to advance (non-)energy policy scholarship by connecting recent developments in systems-based perspectives with situated practice-theoretical investigations of everyday practices. Drawing on biographic-narrative analysis of Irish individuals’ energy practices and their evolution over time, it highlights the potential of experience-centred inquiry for generating novel empirical insights regarding the contexts and processes by which policies and practice intersect. An illustrative discussion of ‘traces of policy’ and their influence on individuals’ conduct reveal insights into the everyday contexts and socially differentiated ways in which policy ‘steers’ action. Analysis reveals that (non-)energy policies of various kinds have worked to steer action by setting agendas, shaping public discourse and delimiting action. Individuals are posited as active agents mediating the intersection of policy and practice in everyday life. The paper concludes by outlining the parameters of a new research agenda for experience-centred explorations of the intersections of policy, practice and lives in energy-systems-change.

AB - Recent advances in sociological investigations of energy-systems-change highlight the influence of a wide range of policies, beyond those typically considered relevant to energy, on energy demand. To this, a new field of (‘non-) energy policy’ scholarship is exploring the ways in which policies across multiple societal sectors ‘steer’ demand. However, much of this work has been conducted at the scale of institutions and systems, with comparatively little work exploring the intersection of policy and everyday life. As a result, little is known about the ways in which (non-)energy policies shape demand in the context of situated, domestic energy practices. This paper seeks to advance (non-)energy policy scholarship by connecting recent developments in systems-based perspectives with situated practice-theoretical investigations of everyday practices. Drawing on biographic-narrative analysis of Irish individuals’ energy practices and their evolution over time, it highlights the potential of experience-centred inquiry for generating novel empirical insights regarding the contexts and processes by which policies and practice intersect. An illustrative discussion of ‘traces of policy’ and their influence on individuals’ conduct reveal insights into the everyday contexts and socially differentiated ways in which policy ‘steers’ action. Analysis reveals that (non-)energy policies of various kinds have worked to steer action by setting agendas, shaping public discourse and delimiting action. Individuals are posited as active agents mediating the intersection of policy and practice in everyday life. The paper concludes by outlining the parameters of a new research agenda for experience-centred explorations of the intersections of policy, practice and lives in energy-systems-change.

KW - Consumption

KW - Everyday life

KW - Invisible energy policy

KW - Non-energy policy

KW - Social practices

U2 - 10.1016/j.erss.2019.101331

DO - 10.1016/j.erss.2019.101331

M3 - Article

VL - 61

JO - Energy Research & Social Science

JF - Energy Research & Social Science

SN - 2214-6296

M1 - 101331

ER -