Work is also a consumer of energy, be it to produce goods and services, or through transportation, but it is also through the work of professionals, from the most prestigious to the most humble, that the sources of energy function and are enhanced.
Approaching social issues of energy through the prism of professional groups leads one to see the occupations and professional activities as a system of interdependencies in which the changes in one profession provoke consequences in other professions. Energy issues, notably because of rising costs, appear as an immense challenge for the “system of professions”, occupational identities in the structure of professional organizations. Some new professions are already emerging, in areas such as consulting and expertise in the fabrication, the installation, and the maintenance of devices to economize energy or the usage of renewable energies. Other professions will be led to modify the range of their interventions and to develop new procedures, new knowledge, and to review their practices; and still others will find themselves in difficulty and may disappear. All, eventually, are concerned by the multiplication of directives, of standards, of controls or of injunctions of a diverse nature, as well as in terms of the image to protect in the public opinion, that of values structuring professional ethics or technical or legal conformity. These changes, bringing opportunities to some, risk and obstacles to others, lead to adjustments in the levels of power and of prestige in professions, as well as in the market competition of work or of products and services. From now on, one can ask about how companies, professional branches and organizations are preparing to put into place the norm ISO 50001 and respond to the criteria of energy management that must be taken into consideration: what competencies are needed for its application, how is it perceived, appropriated, and altered by professional groups? In a broad perspective, the re-composition of professions, of professional knowledge, of practice and of training, of professional identities, of the relations between professions or professional segments is at the heart of the themes of these International Days of the Sociology of Energy.