Masters of Research dissertation: Investigating the gender issues surrounding fuel poverty

Start Date: October 2018
Completion Date: January 2019
Grant Holder: Helen Malone, supervised by Dr Margaret-Anne Houston, MRes Director, Glasgow Caledonian University
Main Contact: Dr Margaret-Anne Houston, Glasgow Caledonian University
Email: M.A.Houston@gcu.ac.uk

Summary

In third world countries, links between gender and energy and fuel poverty are well documented and researched, but this is not the case for developed countries like Scotland and the UK, where few studies have been carried out.

This qualitative research explores the gender perspectives of fuel poverty, looking in detail at energy use in the home, energy awareness, attitudes to energy conservation and energy behaviours.

Data for case studies was collected by semi-structured interviews and a feminist policy analysis was undertaken of fuel poverty policy in Scotland.

The results show widespread assumptions and perceptions of households and findings suggest that more awareness needs to be taken of individuals in fuel poverty, and that policies may be having unintended consequences on those they seek to protect.

Key findings show details of energy use in the home and differences in attitudes and behaviour of men and women.  Recommendations made include the disaggregating of the Scottish fuel poverty statistics and having women’s groups represented on the fuel poverty advisory groups.