Contemporary ideas of citizen engagement shifting to more sustainable households span the disciplines and extend back across the sustained burst of environmental concern since the late 1960s. Over a 50-year period, the debates around ecological modernisation and its prospects and limitations have regularly engaged with matters at the nexus of government, civil society, technology and households. As with other consumption concerns, a key question for sustainable housing is the extent to which social engagement with sustainability can or should be ‘steered’ through the promotion of particular technologies or policy mechanisms.