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It is increasingly recognised that, when it comes to energy system transitions, ‘energy policy choices reconfigure societies’ which means that ‘the social-dimensions of energy systems are particularly salient for energy policy choices in the context of large-scale energy transitions’ (Miller, Richter, and O’Leary 2015, 30). Social science has already contributed significantly to understanding how social and technological dynamics have been entangled within past transitions, both through studies of multi-level system change (Geels and Schot 2007) and through longitudinal studies of transformations in energy using practices (Shove 2003). However, the ways in which anticipations of energy futures influence and flow into action in the present is relatively under-investigated by comparison. Work on the sociology of expectations (Borup et al. 2006) has shown how the circulation of images and metaphors through shared future imaginaries shapes action in the present. But anticipation is more than representation, as others have argued (Groves 2016; Alvial-Palavicino 2015), with material aspects of anticipation (practices, affects, emotions, infrastructures) all also being ways of implicitly pre-hending (Michael 2000) futures. The future as such is never therefore simply open, but always latent, virtual – and lived by subjects as a dimension of experience in the present. Energy systems and the dependencies they create shape and influence how the future is anticipated, not only through imaginaries, but also through attachments, routines, habits and disruptive encounters. At the same time, individual and collective sense-making, with its complex temporalities that link pasts, presents and futures may also hold open the possibility of different futures. This panel explores a variety of the ways in which the futures of energy become sensible within sense-making, offering examples of methodological approaches to investigating the lived futures of energy, their connections with inherited pasts and emergent presents, and how to understand the ways in which they contribute to material anticipations of the future.