07 mai 2019
Françoise Bartiaux, Christophe Vandeschrick (DEMO/UCLouvain)
Nathalie Frogneux (ISP/UCLouvain)
A relational and capability-based approach of energy poverty in Belgium
A conceptual and operationalisable framework on energy justice and capability is proposed. It is tested with the Belgian survey that was realised as part of the Generation and Gender Programme. The data used enables to proxy most of Nussbaum’s capabilities with several questions asked in this GGP survey. As these GGP surveys are standardised and realised in 16 countries, our approach is transferable to other nations/regions as well. To make the relational approach visible, we develop a new simple statistical index that we call a variability index. Results show that energy poverty in Belgium is associated with deprivation of several capabilities, in more areas than expected: not only regarding housing, health, and mobility, but also regarding access to culture and recreational activities, as well as the feeling of fulfilment and ontological security. Social stigma against energy poor is thus evident in many aspects of daily life. In this era of climate change, energy-justice policy should equalise capability deployment, not energy consumption.