Mapping household direct energy consumption in the United Kingdom to provide a new perspective on energy justice

T. J. Chatterton (Corresponding Author), J. Anable, J. Barnes, G. Yeboah

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56 Citations (Scopus)
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Targets for reductions in carbon emissions and energy use are often framed solely in terms of percentage reductions. However, the amount of energy used by households varies greatly, with some using considerably more than others and, therefore, potentially being able to make a bigger contribution towards overall reductions. Using two recently released UK datasets based on combined readings from over 70 million domestic energy meters and vehicle odometers, we present exploratory analyses of patterns of direct household energy usage.

Whilst much energy justice work has previously focussed on energy vulnerability, mainly in low consumers, our findings suggest that a minority of areas appear to be placing much greater strain on energy networks and environmental systems than they need. Households in these areas are not only the most likely to be able to afford energy efficiency measures to reduce their impacts, but are also found to have other capabilities that would allow them to take action to reduce consumption (such as higher levels of income, education and particular configurations of housing type and tenure). We argue that these areas should therefore be a higher priority in the targeting of policy interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-87
Number of pages17
JournalEnergy Research & Social Science
Early online date2 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

The work has been undertaken under EPSRC Grant EP/K000438/1. Grateful thanks to members of DfT, VOSA, DVLA and DECC, who have provided advice and support for this work, Dr Paul White at UWE for advice with the statistics, and Professor David Gordon at the University of Bristol and Professor Danny Dorling at the University of Oxford for advice regarding measures of poverty. We would particularly like to acknowledge other members of the MOT project team Prof. Eddie Wilson, Dr Sally Cairns, Dr Oliver Turnbull, Paul Emmerson and Simon Ball for their contributions to the work presented here.


  • energy consumption
  • carbon reduction
  • spatial analysis
  • energy justice


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