|Russian-born American Pitirim Sorokin's 1928 characterization of the “mechanistic school” of sociology, subdivided into social mechanics, social physics, social energetics (or social thermodynamics, as he sometimes asserts), and the mathematical sociology of Vilfredo Pareto (which is unique a mixture of the former three). |
In 1894, Belgian chemist Ernest Solvay founded the Institute of Social Sciences in aims to assemble like-minded researchers interested in energetics and sociology. 
In 1928, Russian-born American sociologist Pitirim Sorokin devotes parts of his 1928 chapter on the mechanistic school of sociology to a history of social energetics or "social thermodynamics" as he sometimes calls it, which he associates with the representatives of: Ernest Solvay, W. Bechtereff, Wilhelm Ostwald, Thomas Carver, and Leon Winiarski 
In 1988, Eugene Rosa, et al, in their “Energy and Society”, gave a rather decent historical of the use of energy, theoretically, in sociological theory development. 
● Social energy
1. Mirowski, Philip. (1989). More Heat than Light – Economics as Social Physics, Physics as Nature’s Economics (pgs. 269). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2. (a) Solvay, Ernest. (1904). Energetics Considered as the Guiding Principle for Rational Sociology (L’Energetique Consideree Comme Principe d’orientation Rationelle pour la Sociologie).
(b) Solvay, Ernest (1910). Social Energetics Issues (Questions d’energetiques Sociales).
3. (a) Sorokin, Pitirim. (1928). “The Mechanistic School” (pdf), in: Contemporary Sociological Theories (§1, pgs. 1-62). Harper & Brothers.
(b) Sorokin, Pitirim. (1928). Contemporary Sociological Theories (§1: The Mechanistic School, pgs, 4-62; thermodynamics, pgs. 25-27; human molecules, pg. 46-47). Harper & Brothers.
4. Rosa, Eugene A., Machlis, Gary E., and Keating, Kenneth M. (1988). “Energy and Society” (abs), Annual Review of Sociology, 14:149-72.