Inequality and Energy - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128176740

Inequality and Energy

1st Edition

How Extremes of Wealth and Poverty in High Income Countries Affect CO2 Emissions and Access to Energy

Editors: Ray Galvin
Paperback ISBN: 9780128176740
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st January 2020
Page Count: 304
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Inequality and Energy: How Extremes of Wealth and Poverty in High Income Countries Affect CO2 Emissions and Access to Energy challenges energy consumption researchers in developed countries to reorient their research frameworks to include the effects of economic inequality within the scope of their investigations, and calls for a new set of paradigms for energy consumption research. The book explores concrete examples of energy deprivation due to inequality, and provides conceptual tools to explore this in relation to other issues regarding energy consumption. It thereby urges that energy consumption approaches be updated for a world of increasing inequality.

Extreme economic inequality has increased within developed countries over the past three decades. The effects of inequality are now seen increasingly in health, housing affordability, crime and social cohesion. There are signs it may even threaten democracy. Researchers are also exploring its effects on energy consumption. One of their key findings is that less privileged groups have lost consistent access to basic energy services like warm homes and affordable transport, leading to huge disparities of climate damaging emissions between rich and poor.

Key Features

  • Provides overwhelming evidence of the persistent and increasing income inequality and wealth inequality in developed countries over the past three decades
  • Showcases recent empirical work that explores correlates of this inequality with energy consumption behavior and some of the key problems of access to adequate energy services
  • Shows the connections between these findings and the existing ways of researching energy consumption behavior and policy


Graduate students and above in the area of energy consumption research, especially from the social science and economic perspectives. Policymakers seeking information for policy interventions including fiscal changes. A wider academic audience, namely those interested in inequality issues who may not necessarily be familiar with energy consumption issues. Think tanks and NGOs who are concerned about social effects of economic inequality

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    2. Fuel poverty, economic inequality and the politics of avoidance
    3. Gender, economic inequality and energy consumption
    4. Household energy consumption and economic inequality
    5. Shifts in housing affordability and implications for young adults
    6. Housing tenure and thermal quality of homes - how home ownership affects access to energy services
    7. Income inequality and fuel poverty in EU countries – a macroeconomic perspective
    8. Growing inequality of wealth and energy use in light of the energy transition: economic considerations and policy implications
    9. The sociology of money: a guide for energy consumption research
    10. Practice theory and a sociology of money
    11. Can economic inequality be reduced? Challenges and signs of hope


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© Academic Press 2020
Academic Press
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About the Editor

Ray Galvin

Ray Galvin’s research over the past 10 years has focused on energy consumption behaviour and policy, including their social and economic dimensions. More recently he has been exploring issues of economic inequality and how this affects access to people’s energy services. His academic background is in engineering and social psychology, with interests in economics, philosophy and social theory. His research skills are interdisciplinary, including qualitative and quantitative research methods, statistical analysis and a range of types of field work.

Affiliations and Expertise

School of Business and Economics/E.ON Energy Research Center, Institute for Future Consumer Energy Needs and Behavior, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany

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