Project: Looking back, moving forwards: a social and cultural history of home heating

Acronym JUSTHEAT (Reference Number: CHANSE-807)
Duration 01/09/2022 - 01/03/2025
Project Topic As we race to decarbonise and digitalise home heating in light of the climate emergency, this proposal seeks to look backwards in order to move forwards by using oral history techniques and the communicative power of the arts to support policy communities driving this transition to consider the justice implications of their policies. Technology-driven low carbon transitions are reorganising the way people use energy and triggering deeper transformations of societies, economies and cultures. They may resolve some inequalities created by fossil-fuel societies, yet deepen others and create new injustices. Conversely, they may enable more a just distribution of energy and empower marginalised groups. At higher latitudes, domestic heating is one of our most fundamental uses of energy and the way we heat our homes manifests societal, economic, cultural and political change at the heart of the home. We will assemble multi-media accounts of historic and more recent heating transitions, associated technological change and moves towards digitalisation (over the last 50-60 years), to illustrate how they have impacted unevenly and diversely yet profoundly on the conditions of life. Presently, every heating transition is treated as a new challenge and efforts to learn across time and place are rare. We will work with 400 people across eight case study communities in the UK, Finland, Sweden and Romania to revisit past transitions and reveal the complex consequences of heating transitions for our everyday lives, identifying benefits to replicate and adverse consequences to minimise. Policy makers will co-create data and analysis and come together with the public through online and in person events and exhibitions, to debate heating futures. Our interdisciplinary approach will overcome the siloes that narrow the study of energy and buildings and the introduction of oral history and arts-based techniques, will stretch the philosophical and methodological boundaries of the field.
Network CHANSE
Call Transformations: Social and Cultural Dynamics in the Digital Age

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Sheffield Hallam University Coordinator United Kingdom
2 Lund University Partner Sweden
3 Tampere University Partner Finland
4 Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania Partner Romania
5 Romanian Society of Energy Auditors and Energy Managers Observer Romania
6 Skane Energy Agency Observer Sweden
7 Green Parliamentary Group Observer Finland
8 Finnish Environment Institute Observer Finland
9 The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, UK Government Observer United Kingdom
10 National Energy Action (Charity) Observer United Kingdom
11 Association for Nearly Zero Carbon Buildings Observer Romania
12 Solar Region Skane Observer Sweden
13 The International Energy Agency Technology Collaboration Programme Observer France
14 Eco Fellows Ltd Observer Germany
15 Ministry of the Environment, Finland Observer Finland