Staff at Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) – University of Copenhagen

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We forgot half of the population! The significance of gender in Danish energy renovation projects

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Energy renovations are considered to have great potential for reducing the problem of excessive energy consumption. Thus far, initiatives to increase the number of energy renovations have mostly consisted of financial incentives and technical home solutions. Such initiatives overlook the fact that the way people live their everyday lives plays a crucial role in understanding why they choose whether to perform an energy renovation. This study is based on an anthropological investigation of ten Danish families and their decision-making process while receiving free energy advice, which, in many cases, ended as an energy renovation project in the home. During the study, gender emerged as a significant factor in two ways. First, energy renovations were perceived differently by men and women as a consequence of their different everyday practices. Second, there was a cultural norm about the division between what men and women do in the home. This cultural norm placed energy renovation in the male sphere of interest. These findings call for new methods to increase the number of energy renovations that focus on the home, not only as a technical issue that can be improved but also as a living space that contains different gender practices and cultural influences.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Pages (from-to)115-124
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Anthropology, Denmark, Energy renovation, Gender, Private household

ID: 172476248