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Influencing the central heating technologies installed in homes: The role of social capital in supply chain networks

Wade, F; Shipworth, M; Hitchings, R; (2016) Influencing the central heating technologies installed in homes: The role of social capital in supply chain networks. Energy Policy , 95 pp. 52-60. 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.04.033. Green open access

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Abstract

The likely installation of, and potential energy savings from, low carbon technologies in domestic buildings is not only dependent on those who fit them, but also the broader supply chains of which they are part. Despite this, the role of supply chain actors has been largely overlooked in strategies seeking to encourage the installation of more sustainable domestic heating technologies. With reference to central heating, this paper responds through an ethnographic analysis of how plumbers' merchants and sales representatives can influence the work of heating installers in the United Kingdom. It applies two dimensions of the concept of 'social capital': relational and structural. Relational social capital focuses on the trust, loyalty and reciprocity at play in relations, whilst structural social capital considers how the strength of tie can influence those to whom people turn for advice and support. Together, these ideas demonstrate how relationships amongst these groups can serve to influence product choice and facilitate information exchange. The paper concludes by discussing how these supply chains might be engaged with as a means of encouraging the installation of low carbon domestic technologies.

Type: Article
Title: Influencing the central heating technologies installed in homes: The role of social capital in supply chain networks
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.04.033
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2016.04.033
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Ethnography; Low carbon heating technologies; Social capital; Qualitative research; Intermediaries; Built environment
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1494310
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