Making sense of energy management practice: reflections on providing low carbon support to three SMEs in the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Energy consumption by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is collectively significant, and whilst opportunities for substantial, cost-effective efficiency savings exist, take up is low. Whereas research tackling this challenge typically focuses on barriers and drivers to action, this paper offers an alternative perspective, investigating energy management as a practice. Drawing on practice theory and the concept of organisational sensemaking, narrative accounts provide in-depth insights into energy management practice within three SMEs. Auto-ethnographic reflections from 5 years of providing energy and environmental advice are supplemented by findings from carbon footprint assessments and interviews. Findings show that despite energy management being perceived as a peripheral business activity, it is intertwined with organisational identity and knowledge production in each of the three SMEs. Business advisors are instrumental in steering SME energy management practices and have a responsibility to reflect on how they influence processes of knowledge production and meaning-making in organisations. Implications for policy-makers, advisors and the research community are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1490
Number of pages18
JournalEnergy Efficiency
Volume12
Issue number6
Early online date17 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Energy management
  • Practice theory
  • Sensemaking
  • SMEs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Making sense of energy management practice: reflections on providing low carbon support to three SMEs in the UK'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this