Professor Gordon Waitt
Gordon Waitt is a Professor at the University of Wollongong where he is the Head of the School of Geography and Sustainable Communities. His work has focused on questions of identity and embodiment in terms of sexuality, gender, household sustainability and now domestic energy consumption. His co-authored books include Gay Tourism; Culture and Context (Haworth Press, 2006); Household Sustainability: Challenges and Dilemmas in Everyday Life (Edward Elgar, 2013) and Tourism and Australian Beach Cultures: Revealing Bodies (Channel View Publications, 2013).
SOCIAL HOUSING TENANTS’ EVERYDAY EXPERIENCES OF FUEL POVERTY: SPACES OF ENERGY WELL-BEING
This presentation offers insights to energy justice. To understand better energy justice, the paper draws on the concept of spaces of energy wellbeing to brings to the fore the emotional costs and gains of fuel poverty and the ways emotions are embodied, relational and emplaced. We do so by interpreting the recurring experiential themes that emerged during fieldwork with social housing tenants in Wollongong, Australia. As participants narrated and performed the labour of energy saving – what come to the fore within the emotional charged places that social housing tenants call home is that domestic energy practices cannot be separated from the dynamics of anxiety and love; pride and shame; love and anger. One interpretation is that energy and financial practices of some social housing tenants are related to embodied histories of hardship and deprivation. Switching off appliances to avoid costly energy bills as an emotional assurance of home life. The research illustrates the importance of energy efficiency programs engaging with a politics of difference and social justice.