Energy, Emerging Technologies and Gender in Homes

Energy, Emerging Technologies and Gender in Homes

Gender 'blindness' impacts negatively on engagement with smart home technologies. If the energy transition is to be realised, then gender must be addressed.

This special issue explores key questions in the energy transition: How is gender accounted for in the visions, relationships and practices with smart technologies? How does this impact on energy outcomes? How can gender insights make energy policy more effective?

Guest editorial team: Kirsten Gram-Hanssen, Yolande Strengers, Line K. Aagaard & Kari Dahlgren

Smart home and other emerging technologies (e.g. home automation and load control, solar and battery charging integration, real-time feedback, demand response and/or improved efficiency) require considerable involvement and participation from inhabitants. This special issue reveals why understanding the gender impacts of these technologies is crucial for realising the energy policy, regulatory and building efficiency aspirations.

New research identifies how technology use, energy consumption and everyday practices in homes reflect gendered differences. Evidence is presented that shows policy and industry visions for smart home technologies often neglect the importance of gender in the implementation of technologies into everyday life. A gender ‘blindness’ is detected which highlights the inequities that characterise technology use, energy consumption, and access in Global North and South contexts.

The special issue calls for more inclusive technologies designed for different competences, flexible practices, routines and values. More inclusive visions within policy and industry are needed to acknowledge, regulate with, and design for the lived experiences, gendered dynamics and everyday practices of people. The special issue calls for more inclusive technologies designed for different competences, flexible practices and routines. Policymakers, technologists and researchers need to carefully consider and attune to these dynamics. Maintaining an intersectional gender lens will be critical to realising energy policy ambitions, and ensuring that the energy transition delivers equitable and inclusive outcomes.

Table of contents

Energy, emerging technologiesand gender in homes [editorial]
Y. Strengers, K. Gram-Hanssen, K. Dahlgren & L.K. Aagaard

Technological fascination and reluctance: gendered practices in the smart home
L. K. Aagard & L.V. Madsen

Masculine roles and practices in homes with photovoltaic systems
M. Mechlenborg & K. Gram-Hanssen

The gender of smart charging
S. Pink

Living in an Active Home: household dynamics and unintended consequences
F. Shirani, K. O’Sullivan, K. Henwood, R. Hale & N. Pidgeon

Energy housekeeping: intersections of gender, domestic labour and technologies
R. Martin

Who cares? How care practices uphold the decentralised energy order
K. Lucas-Healey, H. Ransan-Cooper, H. Temby & A.W. Russell

Attuning smart home scripts to household and energy care
D. Chambers

Emerging technologies’ impacts on ‘man caves’ and their energy demand
Y. Strengers, K. Dahlgren & L. Nicholls

Brokering gender empowerment in energy access in the Global South
A. Schiffer, M. Greene, R. Khalid, C. Foulds, C.A. Vidal, M. Chatterjee, S. Dhar-Bhattacharjee, N. Edomah, O. Sule, D. Palit & A.N. Yesutanbul

The gendering of energy household labour
A. Aggeli, T.H. Christensen & S.P.A.K. Larsen

Gender roles and domestic power in energy-saving home improvements
F. Bartiaux


Dismantling Power and Bringing Reflexivity into the Eco-modern Home
O. Osunmuyiwa, H. Ahlborg, M. Hultman, K. Michael & A. Åberg

Gender and Ethics of Care in Energy Systems
Sarah Darby

What is the Problem that Smart Home Technologies Solve?
Sylvia Breukers

Blind Spots in Energy Policy
Lynne Gallagher

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