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Energy Services: A conceptual review

Fell, M; (2017) Energy Services: A conceptual review. Energy Research and Social Science , 27 pp. 129-140. 10.1016/j.erss.2017.02.010. Green open access

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It is often stated that people do not desire energy itself but the ‘energy services’ it provides. Despite its importance, initial searches revealed no obviously dominant definitions of the term ‘energy services’, and inconsistent illustrative examples. This paper presents the results of a content analysis and literature review which aimed to answer the question: ‘what are energy services?’. One hundred and eighty-five articles from the journals Energy Policy and Energy Research and Social Science containing the term “energy service*” in the title, abstract or keywords were analysed, and additional documents relevant to the concept were identified for review. In total, 27 definitions of ‘energy services’ were recorded, and 173 separate examples (such as ‘space heating’ or ‘lighting’). Thematic analysis of the definitions revealed a number of recurring themes, such as ‘useful energy/work’ and the provision of ‘benefits’ to people. Previous literature suggested the importance of distinguishing between ‘energy services’ and the ‘end services or states’ which they help obtain. On the basis of the identified themes, examples and conceptual discussion, the following definition of ‘energy services’ is proposed: Energy services are those functions performed using energy which are means to obtain or facilitate desired end services or states.

Type: Article
Title: Energy Services: A conceptual review
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2017.02.010
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2017.02.010
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Energy services; End services; Definition; Content analysis
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1542396
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