The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Energy Services

  • Roger Fouquet
Reference work entry


Energy consumers are driven by their demand for energy services (such as space and water heating, cooking, transportation, lighting, entertainment and computing). This piece introduces the reader to the concept of energy services, and explains why it is important to analyze energy markets and climate policies from the perspective of energy services. The paper discusses the theoretical foundations and empirical evidence, particularly related to the rebound effect and the demand in developing economies. The paper concludes that governments should encourage the collection of statistical information about energy services in order to help economists analyse markets and policies through this lens. Most importantly, governments should formulate more integrated policies that focus explicitly on energy services, connecting markets for energy and for energy-using equipment with the development of technologies. Careful and balanced energy service policies are especially important as economies industrialise because they can help reduce economic, political and environmental vulnerability.


Energy consumption Energy services Energy policy Climate change Consumer behaviour Direct rebound Price elasticity 

JEL Classifications

Q32 Q38 Q43 Q48 Q58 
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I would like to thank Mona Chitnis and Ken Gillingham for their valuable comments on this paper. Naturally, the usual disclaimer applies. Support for this research from the ESRC is gratefully acknowledged.


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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Fouquet
    • 1
  1. 1.