Lorenzo De Vidovich

The social dimensions of energy poverty. A review of the state of the field and possible developments for social research

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According to the great increase of energy expenditure in the Italian case, the topic of energy is gaining a significant relevance both among scholars and policymakers. The article investigates and explores the ‘social dimensions’ of energy poverty, by carrying out an analysis divided into three main reflections. First, it summarizes the main definitions and measurements discussed both in Europe and Italy. Second, it assesses the relevance of energy poverty in the academic field with a rapid systemic literature review. Third, it identifies and discusses two pivotal research themes: the combination of cognitive, economic, institutional, and behavioral factors influencing energy poverty, and the relevance of a consensual approach to encourage qualitative and local-grounded research activities. The article provides a spotlight on energy poverty to systemize the current knowledge on the theme and to identify further research directions by summarizing the main themes and the state of play for social research.


  • energy poverty
  • fuel poverty
  • energy transition
  • vulnerabilities
  • social sciences


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