Energy Fables: Challenging Ideas in the Energy Sector takes a fresh look at key terms and concepts around which energy research and policy are organised.

Drawing on recent research in energy and transport studies, and combining this with concepts from sociology, economics, social theory and technology studies, the chapters in this collection review and challenge different aspects of received wisdom. Brief but critical introductions to classic notions like those of ‘energy efficiency’, ‘elasticity’, ‘energy services’ and the ‘energy trilemma’, together with discussions and analyses of well-worn phrases about ‘low hanging fruit’ and ‘keeping the lights on’, articulate aspects of the energy debate that are often taken for granted. In re-working these established themes and adding twists to familiar tales, the authors develop a repertoire of new ideas about the fundamentals of energy demand and carbon reduction.

This book presents a valuable and thought-provoking resource for students, researchers and policy-makers interested in energy demand, politics and policy.

part I|22 pages

What is energy for?

chapter 2|8 pages

Energy demand

chapter 3|12 pages

Energy services

part II|30 pages


chapter 4|10 pages

Energy efficiency

chapter 5|9 pages


chapter 6|9 pages


part III|31 pages


chapter 7|9 pages

Low hanging fruit

chapter 8|10 pages

Keeping the lights on

chapter 9|10 pages

Promoting smart homes

part IV|39 pages


chapter 10|12 pages

The energy trilemma

chapter 11|9 pages


chapter 12|7 pages

Non-energy policy

chapter 13|9 pages


Can energy researchers and policy makers change their spots?