School of Social and Political Science

Professor Janette Webb MBE FRSE FEI

Job Title

Professor of Sociology of Organisations

Photograph J Webb

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Building (Address)

Chisholm House

Street (Address)

High School Yards

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Research interests

Research interests

My research concerns social studies of energy and climate change. With funding from UK Research and Innovation, our research group studies comparative European heat and energy efficiency governance, and local and regional energy systems. Recent work evaluated the Energy Efficient Scotland Pilots (funding from Scottish ClimateXChange). Our research is used in the UK Industrial Strategy Challenge Prospering from the Energy Revolution, and is informing the draft Scottish Government Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan.

Recent invited presentations include Energy Smart Places: the Role of Local Authorities, InnovateUK Prospering from the Energy RevolutionKeynote Address Civil society action on clean energy: how and why do European cities differ? 3rd International Conference on Energy Research & Social Science 2022; Energy, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Facing up to Climate Change 10 years on, 2021; Social Studies of Energy and Climate Change, Royal Society of Edinburgh and Royal Meteorological Society: Scotland's Climate Change Science and CoP26, 2021; Social Science Perspectives on Cities and Energy Transitions, British Academy,  2021; Keynote Address Local Energy in the UK: Social Science Perspectives, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Tenth Annual Seminar on Local and Community Energy, 2021UK devolution and divergence in energy efficiency policies: Scotland and England, Oxford Energy Colloquia, 2021.

I am co-director of the UK Energy Research Centre; member of Ofgem/Innovate UK (Strategic Innovation Fund) Whole Systems Integration Expert Panel and the Scottish Science Advisory Council Energy Group, and Co-Chair the Energy Technology Partnership (Scotland) Advisory Board. I recently served as member of the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland and UKRI Energy Science Advisory Committee.


  • BSc (Hons) First Class, Psychology, University of Hull
  • PhD Social Psychology, University of Nottingham

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Publications by user content

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Pappas D, Braunholtz-Speight T, Hannon M, Webb J, Fuentes González F, Sharmina M. Business models for smart local energy systems—A triple layered perspective. Frontiers in Sustainable Energy Policy. 2023 Jan 19;1:1-17. 1058534. doi: 10.3389/fsuep.2022.1058534
Britton J, Woodman B, Webb J. Ideational bricolage as a route to transforming local institutions for heat decarbonisation: Heat networks and local government in England. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning. 2022 Jul 4;24(4):449-462. Epub 2022 Jun 6. doi: 10.1080/1523908X.2022.2082932
Sugar K, Webb J, Wade F. Energy Efficient Scotland Transition Programme Survey Evaluation. Scottish Government, 2022.
Wade F, Webb J, Creamer E. Local government capacities to support net zero: Developing comprehensive heat and energy efficiency strategies in Scotland. Energy Research & Social Science. 2022 Jul;89. Epub 2022 Mar 15. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2022.102544
Sugar K, Webb J. Value for money: Local authority action on clean energy for net zero. Energies. 2022 Jun 15;15(12):4359. doi: 10.3390/en15124359
Wade F, Webb J, Tingey M. Local heat and energy efficiency policy: Ambiguity and ambivalence in England and Scotland. In Webb J, Wade F, Tingey M, editors, Research Handbook on Energy and Society. Edward Elgar. 2021. p. 229-244. (Elgar Handbooks in Energy, the Environment and Climate Change). doi: 10.4337/9781839100710.00027
Webb J, Wade F, Tingey M. Introduction to Research Handbook on Energy and Society: Why study energy and society? In Webb J, Wade F, Tingey M, editors, Research Handbook on Energy and Society. Edward Elgar. 2021. p. 1-13. (Elgar Handbooks in Energy, the Environment and Climate Change). doi: 10.4337/9781839100710.00008
Webb J, Wade F. Conclusions and new directions for energy and society research. In Webb J, Wade F, Tingey M, editors, Research Handbook on Energy and Society. 9781839100703: Edward Elgar. 2021. p. 367-374. (Elgar Handbooks in Energy, the Environment and Climate Change). doi: 10.4337/9781839100710.00038
Webb J, (ed.), Wade F, (ed.), Tingey M, (ed.). Research Handbook on Energy and Society. Edward Elgar, 2021. 416 p. (Elgar Handbooks in Energy, the Environment and Climate Change). doi: 10.4337/9781839100710
McColl P, Escobar O, Webb J. Participatory Politics and the Climate Emergency. Royal Society of Edinburgh , 2021.
Fuentes Gonzalez F, Webb J, Sharmina M, Hannon M, Braunholtz-Speight T, Pappas D. Local energy businesses in the United Kingdom: Clusters and localism determinants based on financial ratios. Energy. 2021 Sep 22;239(Part B). Epub 2021 Sep 22. doi: 10.1016/
Hofman P, Wade F, Webb J, Groenleer M. Retrofitting at scale: Comparing transition experiments in Scotland and the Netherlands. Buildings and Cities. 2021 Jul 13;2(1):637–654. doi: 10.5334/bc.98
Tingey M, Webb J, van der Horst D. Housing retrofit: Six types of local authority energy service models. Buildings and Cities. 2021 Jun 23;2(1):518–532. doi: 10.5334/bc.104
Webb J, van der Horst D. Understanding policy divergence after United Kingdom devolution: Strategic action fields in Scottish energy efficiency policy. Energy Research & Social Science. 2021 Jun 1;78:102121. Epub 2021 Jun 1. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2021.102121
Pullinger M, Kilgour J, Goddard N, Berliner N, Webb L, Dzikovska M et al. The IDEAL household energy dataset, electricity, gas, contextual sensor data and survey data for 255 UK homes. Scientific Data. 2021 May 28;8(1):146. doi: 10.1038/s41597-021-00921-y
Fuentes González F, Webb J, Sharmina M, Hannon M, Pappas D, Tingey M. Characterising a local energy business sector in the United Kingdom: Participants, revenue sources, and estimates of localism and smartness. Energy. 2021 May 15;223:1-12. 120045. Epub 2021 Feb 3. doi: 10.1016/
Cowell R, Webb J. Making useful knowledge for heat decarbonisation: Lessons from local energy planning in the United Kingdom. Energy Research & Social Science. 2021 Mar 25;75:102010. Epub 2021 Mar 25. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2021.102010
Sugden D, Werritty A, Webb J, Kerr A. Climate Emergency. Lessons from the Covid-19 emergency? Scottish Geographical Journal. 2021 Feb 14;136(1-4):49-56. doi: 10.1080/14702541.2020.1853875
Lane M, Van Der Horst D, Tingey M, Smith C, Webb J. Social innovation in the shadow of policy failure: Energy efficiency in self-build housing. Global Transitions. 2020 Sep 4;2:180-189. doi: 10.1016/j.glt.2020.08.001
Tingey M, Webb J. Net zero localities: Ambition & value in UK local authority investment. University of Strathclyde Publishing, 2020. 38 p.
Wade F, Bush R, Webb J. Emerging linked ecologies for a national scale retrofitting programme: The role of local authorities and delivery partners. Energy Policy . 2020 Feb;137:111179. Epub 2019 Dec 19. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2019.111179
Tingey M, Webb J. Governance institutions and prospects for local energy innovation: Laggards and leaders among UK local authorities. Energy Policy. 2020 Jan 20;138. Epub 2020 Jan 20. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2019.111211
Myers H, Wade F, Webb J. Mapping emerging subcontracting networks for the energy efficiency retrofit of hard-to-treat buildings. In Corse C, Nelson CJ, editors, 35th Annual Conference on Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2019. ARCOM (Association of Researchers in Construction Management. 2019. p. 852-861
Webb J. New lamps for old: Financialised governance of cities and clean energy. Journal of Cultural Economy. 2019 Aug;12(4):286-298. Epub 2019 May 24. doi: 10.1080/17530350.2019.1613253
Denham C, Russell M, Lunn R, Harley S, Harrison G, Little G et al. Royal Society of Edinburgh Inquiry : Scotland’s Energy Future. Edinburgh: Royal Society of Edinburgh , 2019. 124 p.
Bush R, Hawkey D, Webb J, Tingey M. Meeting the strategic challenges of UK district heating: research briefing and practitioner resources. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh, 2019. 9 p.
Webb J, Tingey M, Hawkey D. Il ruolo degli enti locali nel sistema energetico: insegnamenti dal Regno Unito. ENERGIA. 2018 Sep 19;18(3):46-52.
Pullinger M, Webb L, Morgan E, Webb J. Impacts of digital feedback on the precursors of behaviour change: Findings from a large experimental field study. 2018. Abstract from 5th European Conference on Behaviour and Energy Efficiency, Zurich, Switzerland.
Tingey M, Webb J. Who else will need to deliver? The role of community and local institutions. London: Institute for Public Policy Research, 2018. 6 p.
Hawkey D, Tingey M, Webb J. Workshop report – International workshop on public ownership of energy. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh, 2018. 9 p.
Webb J, Tingey M, Hawkey D. What We Know about Local Authority Engagement in UK Energy Systems: Ambitions, Activities, Business Structures & Ways Forward. London: UK Energy Research Centre, 2017. 54 p.
Webb J, Bramley G, Fitzpatrick S, Liddell C. A New Definition of Fuel Poverty in Scotland: Review of Evidence. Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2017.
Lovell H, Pullinger M, Webb J. How do meters mediate? Energy meters, boundary objects and household transitions in Australia and the United Kingdom. Energy Research & Social Science. 2017 Sep 7;34:252-259. Epub 2017 Sep 7. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2017.07.001
Carter C, Morgan E, Webb L, Goddard N, Webb J. Enhance: The Assembly Rooms Energy Living Lab. In Roaf S, editor, PLEA 2017 Conference Proceedings. Vol. 1. Edinburgh: PLEA (Passive and Low Energy Architecture). 2017. p. 669-676
Morgan E, Webb L, Goddard N, Carter C, Webb J. Co-Designing Innovations for Energy Saving in Large Organisations. In DIS '17 Companion Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference Companion Publication on Designing Interactive Systems. ACM. 2017. p. 50-54 doi: 10.1145/3064857.3079118
Webb J, Hawkey D. On (not) assembling a market for sustainable energy: Heat network infrastructure and British cities. Journal of Cultural Economy. 2017 Feb;10(1):8-20. Epub 2016 Sep 7. doi: 10.1080/17530350.2016.1226193
Tingey M, Webb J, Hawkey D. Local Authority Engagement in UK Energy Systems: Highlights from Early Findings. Loughborough: Energy Technologies Institute, 2017.
Webb J, Hawkey D, McCrone D, Tingey M. House, home and transforming energy in a cold climate. Families, Relationships and Societies. 2016 Nov;5(3):411–429. Epub 2016 Oct 10. doi: 10.1332/204674316X14758447787663
Webb J. Heat and Energy Efficiency: Making Effective Policy . London: UK Committee on Climate Change, 2016. 21 p.
Webb L, Morgan E, Carter C, Webb J, Goddard N. A Living Lab Co-Creational Approach to Energy Demand Reduction in Non-Domestic Buildings: Understanding the Organisation. 2016. Paper presented at 4th European Conference on Behaviour and Energy Efficiency, Coimbra, Portugal.
Pullinger M, Goddard N, Webb J. An Experimental Research Design for Evaluating Energy Feedback. In The 4th European Conference on Behaviour and Energy Efficiency (Behave 2016). 2016
Webb J, Hawkey D, Tingey M. Governing cities for sustainable energy: The UK case. Cities. 2016 May 30;54:28-35. Epub 2015 Dec 23. doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2015.10.014
Webb J. Enabling Urban Energy. In Coutard O, Rutherford J, editors, Beyond the Networked City: Infrastrcuture Reconfigurations and Urban Chnage in the North and South. Abingdon: Abingdon: Routledge. 2016. p. 204-226
Webb J. Socio-technical innovation in heat and cooling networks. In Hodson M, Marvin S, editors, Retrofitting Cities. Routledge. 2015. Chapter 4
Webb J. Socio-Technical Innovation in Heat Networks: Challenges of Financing New Systems in UK Cities. In Hodson M, Marvin S, editors, Retrofitting Cities: Priorities, Governance and Experimentation. New York: Earthscan. 2015. p. 52-69
Hawkey D, Webb J, Lovell H, McCrone D, Tingey M, Winskel M. Sustainable Urban Energy Policy: Heat and the City. 1 ed. Abingdon: Routledge, 2015. 262 p. (Routledge Studies in Energy Policy). doi: 10.4324/9781315739533
Webb J. Improvising Innovation in UK Urban District Heating: the Convergence of Social and Environmental Agendas in Aberdeen. Energy Policy. 2015 Mar;78:265-272. Epub 2014 Dec 12. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.12.003
van der Horst D, Staddon S, Webb J. Smart energy, and society? Technology Analysis and Strategic Management. 2014 Nov 26;26(10):1111-1117. doi: 10.1080/09537325.2014.990314
Hawkey D, Webb J. District energy development in liberalised markets: situating UK heat network development in comparison with Dutch and Norwegian case studies. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management. 2014 Nov;26(10):1228-1241. Epub 2014 Oct 22. doi: 10.1080/09537325.2014.971001
Bale C, Bush R, Hawkey D, Webb J. Valuation of passive provision for heat network investments. In Brown A, Robertson M, editors, Economic evaluation of systems of infrastructure provision: concepts, approaches, methods - iBUILD/Leeds Report. Leeds: iBUILD. 2014. p. 64-74
Webb J. Evaluating urban energy systems in the UK – the implications for financing heat networks. Science & Technology Studies. 2014 Jan 1;27(3):47-67. doi: 10.23987/sts.55314
Hawkey D, Tingey M, Webb J. Local Engagement in UK Energy Systems: A Pilot Study of Current Activities and Future Impact. Loughborough: Energy Technologies Institute, 2014. 22 p.
Lovell H, Webb J, Hawkey D, Tingey M, Scott-Mearns N. The changing narratives of district heating in the UK: a case study of the city of Edinburgh. 2014. Paper presented at RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2014, London, United Kingdom.
Pullinger M, Lovell H, Webb J. Influencing household energy practices: a critical review of UK smart metering standards and commercial feedback devices. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management. 2014;1-19. doi: 10.1080/09537325.2014.977245
Hawkey D, Webb J, Winskel M. Organisation and Governance of Urban Energy Systems: District Heating and Cooling in the UK. Journal of Cleaner Production. 2013 Jul;50:22-31. Epub 2013 Feb 23. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.11.018
Lovell H, Hawkey D, Webb J. Sociotechnical transitions, innovation and the locality. 2013. Paper presented at Constructing and contesting spaces for low carbon energy innovation, Eindhoven, Netherlands.
Webb J, Hawkey D. Governing Socio-Technical Innovation: District Heating in the UK. 2012 Mar.
Webb J. Climate Change and Society: The Chimera of Behaviour Change Technologies. Sociology. 2012 Feb;46(1):109-125. doi: 10.1177/0038038511419196
Goddard NH, Moore JD, Sutton CA, Lovell H, Webb J. Machine learning and multimedia content generation for energy demand reduction. In Sustainable Internet and ICT for Sustainability (SustainIT), 2012. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). 2012. p. 1-5
Webb J. Making Climate Change Governable: The Case of the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment and Adaptation Planning. Science and Public Policy. 2011 May;38(4):279-292. doi: 10.3152/030234211X12924093660471
Webb J. Society Matters: Changing Environmental Attitudes and Behaviour in Scotland. Scottish Affairs. 2010 Jul;71:30-62.
Webb J. Gender and the post-industrial shift. In Crompton R, Lyonette C, Scott J, editors, Gender Inequalities in the 21st Century: New barriers and continuing constraints. Cheltenham, Glos: Edward Elgar. 2010. p. 85-108
Webb J. Gender and Occupation in Market Economies: Change and Restructuring Since the 1980s. Social Politics. 2009;16(1):82-110. doi: 10.1093/sp/jxp003
Breitenbach E, (ed.), Brown A, (ed.), Mackay F, (ed.), Webb J, (ed.). The Changing Politics of Gender Equality in Britain. 1 ed. Palgrave Macmillan, 2001. 240 p.
Breitenbach E, Brown A, Mackay F, Webb J. Introduction: The changing politics of gender equality. In Breitenbach E, Brown A, Mackay F, Webb J, editors, The Changing Politics of Gender Equality. 1 ed. Palgrave Macmillan. 2001. p. 1-19 doi: 10.1057/9780230522572
Mackay F, Breitenbach E, Brown A, Webb J. Introduction: The Changing Politics of Gender Equality. In Breitenbach E, Brown A, Mackay F, editors, The Changing Politics of Gender Equality. Palgrave Macmillan. 2001. p. 1-19