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Public Perceptions of Energy Disruptions

This resource links to an external website containing an individual dataset


Energy systems are changing rapidly, bringing new types of risks, and new forms of potential disruption to energy supplies. Our growing dependence on energy, particularly electricity, means that more than ever we need to plan for disruptions and be prepared for them. What happens during the disruption is important: we need to understand how individuals, communities and organisations experience the event, and what measures can be taken to reduce the overall impacts. This study investigates how people and communities in the city of Glasgow (Scotland) might be expected to respond to a lengthy, widespread disruption to energy supplies. A novel three-stage diary-interview methodology was used to explore energy practices and expectations dependency, and to understand the ways in which peoples experience of disruptions may change in the coming decade. The results show that the most consistent determinant of participants perceived resilience, over and above socio-demographic factors, is their expectations and their degree of dependency on routine. In addition, the results suggest that common assumptions regarding peoples vulnerability may be misplaced, and are shifting rapidly as digital dependency grows, and are sometimes misplaced: in particular, determinants such as age and income should not be seen as straightforward proxies for vulnerability. A new set of indicators of vulnerability are identified. For longer outages, peoples ability to cope will likely decrease with duration in a non-linear step-change fashion, as interdependent infrastructures and services are affected. Community-level actions can improve resilience, and local scales may be more appropriate for identifying vulnerabilities than socio-demographic proxies, but this is only feasible if organisations and institutions are adequately resourced.Recent events have highlighted the potential impact of long, widespread energy supply interruptions, and the need for resilience is likely to create a requirement for greater flexibility from both the electricity and gas systems. This project will examine the engineering risks, and assess the need for new industry standards to drive appropriate action; and conduct a systematic assessment of the impacts of a serious energy disruption on consumers and critical services, such as heating, water, communications, health and transport. This dataset is held in the UKDS


Cox, E, Cardiff University


Cox, E, Cardiff University


No DOI minted

Field Dates:

30/04/2019 - 29/04/2024

Data Date Range:

30/04/2019 - 29/04/2024

Data type:


Data format:




Number of Units:

No unit numbers supplied

Unit Type:

No units supplied

Number of Records:

No records supplied


No parameters supplied



Rights Overview:

This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. Credit must be given to the creator.





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