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Between Transmission, Conflict, and Transformation: How do Social Relations Influence the Adoption of Energy-Efficient Practices?

Justine Langlois

Research Framework: Energy transition calls for a better understanding of daily practices and routines involved in energy consumption.

Objectives: This article explores the relational dimension of everyday energy practices, and highlights the role played by social relations in transforming these practices.

Methodology: This paper draws on a secondary analysis of qualitative data. The data come from co-design activities around energy savings carried out in the spring of 2021 with thirty-seven participants.

Results: The results illustrate the process of intergenerational transmission and the negotiation of norms surrounding energy consumption within households and show how these exchanges play a direct part in the construction of family and couple life. The results also highlight the limitations contained in the material infrastructure and the tensions between parental and energy-efficient practices.

Conclusions: To contribute to the energy transition, households, especially families, need a high degree of support. Adopting energy-efficient practices requires close collaboration between household members. They also need to be supported by programs and public policies that recognize the disparity of resources available for action, and take into account the diversity of their experiences and needs.

Contribution: This paper contributes to the scientific literature by aiming to develop a better understanding of the role of social interactions in the realization of everyday practices, and in the adoption of sustainable lifestyles.