The important role of justice in energy transition technologies has been a topic of increasing interest in recent years. However, key questions remain about how inequities influence energy transition innovations (ETIs) from their design to their widespread use, which ETIs receive more funding, and who controls ETI research, prototyping and deployment. Here we propose a framework to centre justice in energy transition innovations (CJI) and examine how three tenets of justice (recognition, procedural and distributional justice) influence each level of ETI, including niche, regime and landscape levels. We examine wind energy in Mexico and multiple ETIs in Los Angeles as use cases to show how our CJI framework can help reveal the specific inequities undermining just energy transitions at crucial analytical levels of ETI in practice. Our CJI framework offers a path for promoters, practitioners and underserved communities to target the problems these groups face and create ETIs that better address their specific aspirations, needs and circumstances.