Services revisited:What is energy for?

Morley, J. (2021) Services revisited:What is energy for? In: Research Handbook on Energy and Society. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., Cheltenham, pp. 57-68. ISBN 9781839100703

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Abstract

This chapter reviews the markedly different ways in which concepts of ‘energy service’ are used, despite each ostensibly speaking to ‘what energy is for’. Although the importance of energy demand reduction is widely acknowledged, understandings of what demand actually is vary widely. This chapter argues that sociological conceptualisations of energy service, which are commonly overlooked, offer an important perspective to the analysis of energy demand. In particular, sociological concepts emphasise the cultural and historical specificity of ʼneeds’ which tend to be interpreted in more static ways in other literatures. This has consequences for attempts to reorganise and decarbonise energy systems, since policies may work to reproduce current ways of life rather than recognising and harnessing their existing roles in shaping energy services. This is explored in relation to the current policy interest in ‘Heat as a Service’.

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26 Oct 2022 09:55
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21 Nov 2022 17:44