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Understanding the missing middlemen of domestic heating: Installers as a community of professional practice in the United Kingdom

Wade, F; Hitchings, R; Shipworth, M; (2016) Understanding the missing middlemen of domestic heating: Installers as a community of professional practice in the United Kingdom. Energy Research and Social Science , 19 pp. 39-47. 10.1016/j.erss.2016.05.007. Green open access

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Abstract

Despite indications that they could play an important part in shaping how people heat their homes, central heating installers have been largely overlooked in energy research. As a means of addressing this oversight, this paper draws on a British ethnographic study to explore the ways in which these 'missing middlemen' can be said to comprise a 'community of practice'. Two aspects of community membership are explored in detail: social learning processes and shared identities. This exercise shows how socially acquired understandings of their professional role and their relationship with homeowners can influence the selection and installation of heating products. The paper concludes with suggestions for how industry and policy makers might engage with this group. These suggestions focus on strategies aimed at reducing the energy used for home heating, and the installation of alternative heating technologies, both of which might benefit from an appreciation of the informal processes of community formation.

Type: Article
Title: Understanding the missing middlemen of domestic heating: Installers as a community of professional practice in the United Kingdom
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2016.05.007
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2016.05.007
Language: English
Additional information: © 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/).
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/1508344
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