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Hoicka, Christina E.

 Hoicka_Christina E.

Hoicka, Christina E.

Associate Professor in

Sustainable Energy Economics

Senior Faculty Associate,

Robarts' Centre for Canadian Studies

PhD Geography , University of Waterloo
MES Environmental Studies , York University
B.Eng Chemical Engineering , McGill University

Energy advocacy & energy justice; Participation & planning in energy transitions; Community energy; Innovation in energy services & systems; Renewables integration into electricity grid.

My research and teaching are about developing a better understanding of how communities adopt low carbon technologies and energy transitions. I take an interdisciplinary approach to research by combining my knowledge of human geography, ecological economics and engineering and I like to collaborate with political scientists, geographers, engineers, and ecological economists. The focus of my research is community based work. It is international in scope, but grounded in understanding practices used in Canada as well. I mentor students through their participation in my research group. My current research interests include: Indigenous community energy projects; how citizens, households, organizations, universities, and municipalities participate in community energy and low-carbon energy transitions; how green entrepreneurs, policy entrepreneurs and innovation intermediaries are involved in regime destruction to establish a more sustainable energy system; whether and how communities are benefiting from community energy programs and energy innovations; planning for energy transitions; how diversity and inclusion accelerates energy transitions.


2020 – Smart Prosperity Grant (with Katarina Savic) on Post COVID-19 Indigenous  Economic Recovery: Reconciliation in the Energy Transition.

2020 – Economics and Environmental Policy Research Network (EEPRN)/Smart Prosperity Grant (with Yuxu Zhao and Maria-Louise McMaster) on Diffusion of Multiple Demand-Side Low-Carbon Innovations in a 1.5C Energy Transition.

2017-2018 - MITACS Accelerate (with Susan Wyse) on Evaluating Low Carbon Technologies and Best Practices.

2016-2019 - SSHRC Insight Development Grant (with Travis Gliedt) on Sustainable Energy Transitions on Linking Pro-environmental Behaviour to System Innovation, Project Investigator.

2014 - Metcalf Green Prosperity Challenge Project (with Judith Lipp), “From Community Power to Community Conservation: Motivating and Measuring Conservation Actions of a Captive Audience,” Nominated Principal Investigator.

2013-2017 - PowerStream Chair in Sustainable Energy Economics, 2013-2017.


  • Dean’s Research Excellence Award, Faculty of Environmental Studies
  • Judge, Crowdsourcing Contest, Helping Small Business Go Low-Carbon MIT Climate Co-lab, Government of Ontario, Centre for Social Innovation
  • PowerStream Chair in Sustainable Energy Economics
  • MITACS Accelerate (with Susan Wyse)
  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant (with Travis Gliedt) on Sustainable Energy Transitions on Linking Pro-environmental Behaviour to System Innovation
  • Metcalf Green Prosperity Challenge Project (with Judith Lipp) • “From Community Power to Community Conservation: Motivating and Measuring Conservation Actions of a Captive Audience”
  • SSHRC Connections Grant (with Peter Victor and Ellie Perkins) on Sustaining the Commons: Ideas and Actions for a Green Economy

Selected Publications

Hoicka, C.E. & Das, R. (2020). Ambitious deep energy retrofits of buildings to accelerate the 1.5°C energy transition in Canada. The Canadian Geographer. https://doi.org/10.1111/cag.12637

MacArthur, J, Hoicka, C.E., Castleden, H. Das, R. Lieu, J. (2020). Perspective: Forging Canada’s Green New Deal: The Social Foundations of Climate Resilient Infrastructure. Energy Research and Social Science. 65. 101442. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2020.101442

Lowitzsch J, Hoicka C.E., van Tulder F. (2020). “Renewable Energy Communities under the 2019 European Clean Energy Package – Governance Model for the Energy Clusters of the Future?” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 122, 109489https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2019.109489

Wyse, S. M., and C. E. Hoicka (2019). ‘By and For Local People’: Assessing the connection between Local Energy Plans and Community Energy. Local Environment 24(9). Taylor & Francis: 883–900. https://doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2019.1652802

Hoicka, C. E., & MacArthur, J. L. (2019). The Infrastructure for Electricity: A Technical Overview In K. Hancock & J. Allison (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Energy Politics. Oxford University Press.

Hoicka, C. E., & MacArthur, J. L. (2018). From Tip to Toes: Mapping Community Energy Models in Canada and New Zealand. Energy Policy, 121, 162–174. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2018.06.002

Hoicka, C. E., & Parker, P. (2018). Assessing the adoption of the house as a system approach to residential energy efficiency programs. Energy Efficiency, 11(2), 295–313. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12053-017-9564-x

Gliedt, T., Hoicka, C. E., & Jackson, N. (2018). Innovation intermediaries accelerating environmental sustainability transitions. Journal of Cleaner Production, 174(10), 1247–1261. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.11.054

Gliedt, T., & Hoicka, C. E. (2015). Energy upgrades as financial or strategic investment? Energy Star property owners and managers improving building energy performance. Applied Energy, 147, 430–443. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.02.028

Hoicka, C. E., Parker, P., & Andrey, J. (2014). Residential energy efficiency retrofits: How program design affects participation and outcomes. Energy Policy, 65, 594–607. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2013.10.053

Hoicka, C. E., & Rowlands, I. H. (2011). Solar and wind resource complementarity: Advancing options for renewable electricity integration in Ontario, Canada. Renewable Energy, 36(1), 97–107. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2010.06.004