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Equality in local energy commons A UK case study of community and municipal energy

Melville, Emilia, Burningham, Kate, Christie, Ian and Smallwood, B (2018) Equality in local energy commons A UK case study of community and municipal energy il Mulino; Italian Review of Sociology, 59 (2). pp. 315-342.

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This paper considers the intersection of institutional mechanisms for creating and maintaining commons with mechanisms that increase or decrease inequalities in wealth, power and dignity. This is explored in the context of the development of local energy systems, based on a case study in a UK city. It explores different conceptions of fairness and equality among those working towards a local sustainable energy transition, and how this affects the way that inequality manifests, is perpetuated, and is challenged. The paper explores the inclusion and exclusion of participants in the community energy sector, which has been criticised for being mainly white, middle class and male; the distribution of financial benefit from renewable energy through community investment or municipal ownership; and the focus on people in fuel poverty relative to people who overconsume energy. It concludes that although a commons approach to local energy can risk exacerbating inequalities, it also provides opportunities for increasing equality, of wealth, power and individual dignity. These require commitment, and need to be designed into evolving local institutions.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Smallwood, B
Date : June 2018
Funders : EPSRC
DOI : 10.1423/90582
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2018 Mulino Publishing Company
Uncontrolled Keywords : energy commons, equality, local energy transition, Ostrom, community energy.
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 03 Jul 2018 11:18
Last Modified : 16 Aug 2019 15:50

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