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Sociology: Research


Multi-level Governance and Energy Demand

How are devolved, regional and local authorities responding differently to goals of low energy, low carbon development and building retrofit?

Our research is comparing the resulting effectiveness of design and delivery of energy efficiency policy focusing on buildings. It is widely accepted that much higher levels of decentralised investment and user engagement will be required to deliver ambitious policy objectives. Whilst it has been argued that more localised decision-making could both improve local delivery mechanisms and increase political legitimacy and citizen engagement, political and learning processes are insufficiently understood.

We are focussing on:

  • Comparing policy decision-making and implementation for energy efficiency in buildings in England and Scotland. Diverging policy frameworks create a ‘natural experiment’ to generate insights about institution building for low energy social and technical infrastructures
  • Analysing different local authority business structures for investing in the energy performance of buildings and low carbon heat. Our typology of business structures will explore the principles behind adoption of different strategies
  • Testing the robustness of the typology against emerging developments in the selected City Deal regions

Read our latest blog Taking stock of the role for local action on clean energy in the UK’s decarbonisation efforts on the CREDS website.

The project involves Professor Jan Webb and Mags Tingey (Heat and the City, Sociology) and Dr Dan van der Horst (GeoSciences). It is part of the Policy and Governance theme of the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions.