CFP for RGS-IBG Annual Conference

Beyond the triad: exploring the drivers of domestic energy deprivation

RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London, 30 August – 2 September 2016

Session organisers: Dr Harriet Thomson, Dr Neil Simcock, Dr Saska Petrova, and Prof Stefan Bouzarovski (University of Manchester)

Sponsored by the Energy Geographies Research Group, RGS-IBG

Domestic energy deprivation – which has often been recognised via the terms ‘fuel poverty’ and ‘energy poverty’ – is gaining increasing acceptance as a significant global policy issue. Commonly, the causes of energy poverty are considered through the ‘triad’ of high energy prices, poor housing efficiency, and low incomes.  Recently, however, this theorisation has been critiqued as too simplistic, ignoring factors such as cultural norms and household needs, the dynamic and evolving nature of household circumstances, and the underlying socio-technical, spatial and political drivers that shape housing efficiency and energy prices.  Recent uses of relational geography (Buzar, 2007), assemblage thinking (Harrison and Popke, 2011; Day and Walker, 2013), and vulnerability frameworks (Bouzarovski and Petrova, 2015) to theorise energy poverty have been useful in highlighting more complex and nuanced issues, and indicate fruitful directions for further research.

This session seeks to build on this research and explore new approaches to understanding domestic energy deprivation.  We welcome papers that seek address these issues, potentially through examining the following themes:

  • Innovative theoretical conceptualisations of the drivers and consequences of energy poverty
  • Novel qualitative and quantitative empirical studies of energy poverty – from the household-level, the meso- (community), to macro-scale processes
  • The dynamic nature of domestic energy deprivation
  • Cross-cultural comparisons of energy poverty worldwide, particularly those that go beyond the developed/developing countries binary
  • The socio-spatial and political aspects of energy poverty.


Short presentations (15 minute + 5 minute questions), plus roundtable discussion, aiming for 2 session slots.

To submit

Please send abstracts no more than 250 words, including title, author name(s), affiliation and email addresses, to either Harriet Thomson ( or Neil Simcock ( by Monday 15th February.