Loughborough University
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A socio-technical evaluation of the impact of energy demand reduction measures in family homes

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posted on 2017-05-30, 16:09 authored by Paula Cosar-Jorda
Energy consumption in the home depends on appliance ownership and use, space heating systems, control set-points and hot water use. It represents a significant proportion of national demand in the UK. The factors that drive the level of consumption are a complex and interrelated mix of the numbers of people in the home, the building and system characteristics as well as the preferences for the internal environment and service choices of occupants. Reducing the energy demand in the domestic sector is critical to achieving the national 2050 carbon targets, as upward of 60% reduction in demand is assumed by many energy system scenarios and technology pathways. The uptake of reduction measures has been demonstrated to be quite ad hoc and intervention studies have demonstrated considerable variation in the results. Additionally, a limitation of many studies is that they only consider one intervention, whereas a more holistic approach to the assessment of the potential of reduction measures in specific homes may yield a better understanding of the likely impact of measures on the whole house consumption and indeed would shed light on the appropriateness of the assumptions that underpin the decisions that need to be made regarding the future energy supply system and demand strategies. This work presents a systematic approach to modelling potential reductions for a set of seven family homes, feeding back this information to householders and then evaluating the likely reduction potential based on their responses. Carried out through a combination of monitoring and semi-structured interviews, the approach develops a methodology to model energy reduction in specific homes using monitoring data and steady-state heat balance principles to determine ventilation heat loss, improving the assumptions within the energy model regarding those variables affected by human behaviour. The findings suggest that the anticipated reductions in end use energy demand in the domestic sector are possible, but that there is no `one size fits all' solution. A combination of retrofitting and lifestyle change is needed in most homes and smart home technology may potentially be useful in assisting the home owner to achieve reductions where they are attempting to strike a balance between energy efficiency, service and comfort.





  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


© Paula Cosar-Jorda

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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