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date: 09 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses political consumerism in the context of a transformation towards a low-carbon electricity system. Over the past decades, deregulation, liberalisation, and privatisation have opened up spaces for Western consumers to influence the greening of energy provision and consumption via the market. Electricity system reconfiguration means a growing diversity of home-based energy devices that engage consumers with energy in new and altered ways. With the use of smart meters, solar panels, and home batteries, passive energy users change into prosumers and comanagers of the grid. To understand the power of consumers in coshaping low-carbon electricity systems, the chapter shows the need to consider the politics of intermediation and technology. The chapter concludes that energy devices afford new individual and collective forms of engaging with energy, which opens up room for political consumerism not only in relation to energy production and consumption but also with regards to digital technologies and information flows.

Keywords: prosumers, low-carbon electricity system, smart metering, solar panels, home batteries

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