Public interest in the private sphere: how far into the home can local policy making reach?
2009 (English)In: eceee 2009 Summer Study. Act! Innovate! Deliver!Reducing energy demand sustainably. Conference proceedings., Stockholm: eceee secretariat , 2009, 287-297 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Environmental problems in the energy system largely originate from everyday activities and choices. The home is a 'node' of daily life and is often seen as our private sphere. However, the privacy of the home can be contested in relation to local policies in general and energy and environmental policies in particular. This paper discusses the private/public divide in energy policies and how this divide appears to Swedish municipal energy consultants. By analyzing the actions of several energy consultants and their efforts to influence households as well as how households perceive this guidance, we can gauge how far policy instruments have penetrated the private sphere.
Municipal energy consultants are careful in providing advice to the households: they preserve a rather large 'no-trespassing' area to avoid interfering in peoples' private sphere. Households can accept information, even individually tailored information, but will not accept requests to do certain things. Authorities can inform but not tell people how to act: the decision is still the householders'. Looking at exactly how both households and consultants reason about energy efficiency and the public/private divide, we can discern tendencies for what were earlier considered private concerns to be increasingly perceived as common or public concerns. Energy consultants are trying to find ways to influence family lifestyle while householders are requesting individual inspections and want the consultants to keep individual records of family energy use, not regarding this information as too private. Swedish regulations, however, are hampering this development and delaying the urgent need for changes in both technologies used and energy-related behaviours.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: eceee secretariat , 2009. 287-297 p.
Policy making, information, public, public, private, energy guidance, energy consultant, households, citizens, efficiency, ecological citizenship
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-19482ISBN: 978-91-633-4454-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-19482DiVA: diva2:225165
ProjectsEnergibeteende i hushåll - en arena för förändring