Is there evidence of households making a heat or eat trade off in the UK?

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Carolyn SnellUniversity of York, UK

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Hannah Lambie-MumfordUniversity of Sheffield, UK

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Harriet ThomsonUniversity of Birmingham, UK

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This paper explores the popular idea of a ‘heat or eat’ dilemma existing for some households. The mixed-methods research finds that there is a relationship between not being able to heat the home and not being able to eat well. However, it appears that households struggle to do either, and there is considerable nuance in household decisions around energy use. Qualitative data analysis indicates the importance of energy billing periods, household composition and social and familial networks in terms of shaping household experiences and responses. The findings challenge the established idea that food and fuel are elastic household expenditures.

Carolyn SnellUniversity of York, UK

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Hannah Lambie-MumfordUniversity of Sheffield, UK

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Harriet ThomsonUniversity of Birmingham, UK

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