Years Active: 2009-2014

The demand for energy is the driver of the whole energy system, influencing not only the total amount of energy used, but also the location, type of fuel and characteristics of the end use technology.  

Studying energy demand is therefore inherently inter-disciplinary - it requires an understanding of:

  • The lifestyle and social drivers of the demand for energy services
  • The changing technologies at the point of energy use
  • The institutional and policies frameworks within which technical and social decisions are made
  • The interactions between all of these.

Energy systems face increasing pressures from many directions, most notably for a rapid transition to a secure, low carbon energy system. Understanding the role of energy demand in these changes is therefore an increasing priority.

The objectives of the theme were to research how socio-economic and technical change affect energy demand in the UK, and to apply this to the need for more radical change to respond to climate and energy security challenges.