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Public prioritisation of energy affordability in the UK

Demski, Christina; Evensen, Darrick; Pidgeon, Nick; Spence, Alexa


Christina Demski

Darrick Evensen

Nick Pidgeon


Much research has focused on the so-called ‘energy trilemma’ – i.e., three leading energy policy issues: energy security, affordability, and climate change mitigation. Whilst substantial understanding exists of why people support climate-friendly energy policies, little is known about why they think affordability is important. Particularly, what leads members of the public to identify this policy goal as more important than other objectives? Here, we examine this question via a nationally-representative survey of 2441 UK residents and demonstrate that concerns about personal costs explain a small amount of variation in the prioritisation of affordability as an energy policy goal; a range of other factors also significantly contribute. One such factor is beliefs about who is responsible for energy transitions. These findings suggest policy actions to address affordability concerns should go beyond energy prices, and include additional considerations such as distributive justice and equality.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 23, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 30, 2017
Publication Date Nov 1, 2017
Deposit Date Oct 6, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 31, 2018
Journal Energy Policy
Print ISSN 0301-4215
Electronic ISSN 0301-4215
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 110
Keywords Public perception ; Affordability ; Energy transitions
Public URL
Publisher URL