Informace o publikaci

Connected Yet Suffering : The Lived Experiences of Czech Households through Energy Service Provider Bankruptcies



Rok publikování 2024
Druh Kapitola v knize
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta sociálních studií

Přiložené soubory
Popis In the Czech Republic, the public debate around energy poverty was nascent. Only recently, the issue has gained more significant political and media attention due to rising energy prices in the autumn of 2021 and the bankruptcy of several alternative energy service providers, including the most prominent one—Bohemia Energy. In total, around 900, 000 customer sites were affected. As required by law, households were immediately taken over by the so-called “supplier of the last instance” regime. Practically, they were protected from disconnection. However, many households faced difficulties paying for new deposit payments, which meant falling into energy poverty. In this chapter, we briefly discuss the state's unpreparedness for such an unprecedented event, possibly caused by a narrow understanding of energy vulnerability that prevailed in the Czech Republic before autumn 2021. Through the lens of energy cultures framework, we analyse semi-structured interviews with affected households. We reveal what it means to be energy vulnerable and how households' behaviour changed under scarcity. We argue that state unpreparedness, poor communication, and “lacking practices” contribute to households' energy vulnerability. The research suggests that misunderstandings about which groups are energy vulnerable can leave many households behind. Our aim is therefore to contribute to a better understanding of energy poverty and vulnerability through ongoing efforts to define and address this issue not only in the Czech Republic but across the EU.
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