Energy Cafés

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by Adrian Smith:

"Through an analysis of community-run Energy Cafés in the United Kingdom, we argue that while present-day grassroots innovations appear less explicitly political than their predecessors, they can still represent a form of political participation. Through the analytical lens of material politics, we investigate how Energy Cafés engage in diverse – explicit and implicit, more or less conscious – forms of political engagement. In particular, their work to “demystify” clients’ energy bills can unravel into various forms of advocacy and engagement with energy technologies and practices in the home. Some Energy Café practices also make space for a needs-driven approach that acknowledges the embeddedness of energy in the household and wider society." (

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