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Benchmarking domestic gas and electricity consumption to aid local authority carbon reduction policy

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posted on 03.06.2013, 15:38 by Jonathan Morris
As part of an effort to be a world leader in international efforts in reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, the UK Government has set itself ambitious targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% relative to 1990 levels by 2050. To meet this target, there is a strong emphasis in reducing carbon emissions from the domestic sector through the reduction of energy consumption in UK households by improving the energy efficiency of the housing stock, and the behaviours of the occupants. The Department of Energy and Climate Change have indicated that Local Authorities in England are potentially to work in partnership with businesses and community organizations to facilitate delivery; and as a promoter of domestic energy efficiency policies. Consultation with 11 Local Authorities across England confirmed that they are lacking a reliable mechanism that can detect areas within their administrative boundaries that are most in need of intervention to improve the energy efficiency of the housing stock. For the year 2008 the regression models demonstrate that geographical variations in the size of the house, median household income, and air temperature account for 64% of the variation in English domestic gas consumption, and that variations in the size of the house, median household income, and proportion of households connected to the national gas grid account for 73% of the variation in domestic electricity consumption. The predicted values from these regression models serve as benchmarks of domestic gas and electricity consumption in England having accounted for household income, house size, house type, tenure, and climatic differences and could be used to identify areas within Local Authorities with higher than expected energy consumption for energy efficiency interventions. These results contribute to the wider academic debate over how best to achieve the overall aims of household CO2 reductions by moving beyond a purely technical or behavioural-based approach to reducing domestic energy consumption.

Funding

EPSRC

History

School

  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Publisher

© Jonathan Morris

Publication date

2013

Notes

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

EThOS Persistent ID

uk.bl.ethos.574224

Language

en