Improved industrial energy efficiency is a cornerstone in climate change mitigation. Research results suggest that there is still major untapped potential for improved industrial energy efficiency. The major model used to explain the discrepancy between optimal level of energy efficiency and the current level is the barrier model, e.g., different barriers to energy efficiency inhibit adoption of cost-effective measures. The measures outlined in research and policy action plans are almost exclusively technology-oriented, but great potential for energy efficiency improvements is also found in operational measures. Both technology and operational measures are combined in successful energy management practices. Most research in the field of energy management is grounded in engineering science, and theoretical models on how energy management in industry is carried out are scarce. One way to further develop and improve energy management, both theoretically as well as practically, is to explore how a socio-technical perspective can contribute to this understanding. In this article we will further elaborate this potential of cross-pollinating these fields. The aim of this paper is to relate energy management to two theoretical models, situated action and transaction analysis. We conclude that the current model for energy management systems, the input-output model, is insufficient for understanding in-house industrial energy management practices. By the incorporation of situated action and transaction analysis to the currently used input-output model, an enhanced understanding of the complexity of energy management is gained. It is not possible to find a single energy management solution suitable for any industrial company, but rather the idea is to find a reflexive model that can be adjusted from time to time. An idea for such a reflexive model would contain the structural elements from energy management models with consideration for decisions being situated and impossible to predict.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited