The drive to find solutions to decarbonize the energy system, with a mix of technologies that are (more) sustainable is increasingly understood as an issue with deep social and political ramifications. While there is an urgent need to increase and accelerate the implementation of such solutions, the reality on the ground is that the deployment of virtually all energy technologies is the object of dispute leading to delays and putting at risk a timely delivery of energy system change. The relevance of considering public perceptions of new technologies is clear, but the process of understanding and leveraging this knowledge remains limited. In this paper we draw from gender-based research and insights to explore both dominant and peripheral perceptions of various energy technologies including wind, solar and nuclear energy. We draw insights from a mixed-method research approach, making use of qualitative data (through face-to-face interviews and focus groups) and quantitative data (through a survey). Our findings are broadly divided into three categories: i) sense making and gender; ii) anchors of meaning and systems of change; iii) policy implications. Overall, the findings explore gender differences relative to perceptions of new technologies and we consider the knowledge and practical policy implications of these findings.