Academic interests into energy poverty have been growing since the 1990s. These have ranged from quantitative measures and qualitative reflections, as well as ones that aimed to provide more nuanced definitions. These studies have, however, typically focused on single jurisdictions or across national borders, with very few examining the issue across different climatic and policy contexts within the same nation.
This paper aims to address this gap by focussing on differences in climate conditions, local policies and quality of the housing stock across Australia and reflects on how these factors each played a role, to varying degrees, in the prevalence of energy poverty amongst lower-income households across eight metropolitan and regional settings conducted as part of a recent study in Australia. Through a review of focus group, interview and workshop data, it especially highlights the more qualitative impacts of energy poverty, and how each of these factors come to influence the extent to which lower-income households experience energy poverty and the support they were able to access. Additional to the need for more contextualised measures of energy poverty, this paper calls for localised responses to alleviate the negative outcomes reflected by our participants in regard to both energy and housing policies.
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