Energy vulnerability and self-imposed austerity: An ethnographic approach to adaptation strategies to extreme heat among older adults in Madrid

This article analyses local practices concerning energy saving in the context of summer heat. It argues that the analysis of people’s thermal regulation activities in a situation of energy marginalization is central to understanding the social dynamics of energy vulnerability. The research combines architectural/urban and ethnographic perspectives to investigate the adaptive capacities of users and how external factors and regulations influence local practices concerning energy saving. Older adults are one of the most vulnerable groups to summer heat, as well as most prone to suffering energy vulnerability. The article examines how adults over 65 years of age in Madrid experience heat stress and adapt to extreme temperatures through the analysis of a collaborative documentary film, ‘The Wave’ (30′), written and designed by research participants to show the ways in which they experience summer heat. It explores older adults’ adaptation practices and the various external factors influencing their use of energy dependent adaptation strategies, including climate change (rising temperatures), existing conditions (urban, cultural, and social) and policies/economy (energy prices). The article highlights how these factors govern citizens’ energy consumption and how they are negotiated locally through embodied, environmental, and social adjustments.

Dostęp do artykułu: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2214629623002670

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Cytowanie: Paloma Yáñez Serrano, Daniel Torrego Gómez, Zosia Bieńkowska (2023) „Energy vulnerability and self-imposed austerity: An ethnographic approach to adaptation strategies to extreme heat among older adults in Madrid”, Energy Research & Social Science, Volume 103, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2023.103207.