Royston, S., Selby, J. and Shove, E. (2018) ‘Invisible energy policies: A new agenda for energy demand reduction’, Energy Policy, 123: 127 – 135.
This article makes the case for a new and ambitious research and governance agenda for energy demand reduction. It argues that existing ‘demand-side’ approaches focused on promoting technological efficiency and informed individual consumption are unlikely to be adequate to achieving future carbon emissions reduction goals; it points out that very little attention has so far been paid to the impacts of non-energy policies on energy demand; and it submits that a much fuller integration of energy demand questions into policy is required. It advances a general framework, supported by illustrative examples, for understanding the impacts of ‘non-energy’ policies on energy demand. It reflects on why these connections have been so little explored and addressed within energy research and policy. And it argues that, for all their current ‘invisibility’, there is nonetheless scope for increasing the visibility of, and in effect ‘mainstreaming’, energy demand reduction objectives within other policy areas. Researchers and policymakers, we contend, need to develop better understandings of how energy demand might be made governable, and how non-energy policies might be revised, alone and in combination, to help steer long-term changes in energy demand.