Decarbonisation of the UK Housing Stock

The study of energy performance in houses, and corresponding carbon dioxide emissions, has improved over the last four decades. This can be observed with the number of modelling strategies and calibration datasets that have developed during this period. Now, although these developments have in turn supported the formulation of energy-related policies and programmes, the success of these actions, as part of the national decarbonisation strategy for housing, has been rather limited. The vast majority of modelling strategies employ excessively simplified representations of the underlying physics and of occupant contributions. All this increases the chances of under- and over-estimations of energy demand, and prevents the effective characterisation of likely changes in energy investment and energy-using behaviours arising from day-to-day practices and specific policy interventions.

This project aims to improve the modelling sophistication regarding energy performance in houses; to represent household investment decisions in technologies (e.g. insulation, lighting, space heating and hot-water system); to capture changes to energy usages and practices (e.g. heating patterns, switching off lights and hot water usage); and to evaluate the evolution of the housing stock in terms of household composition, population growth, and rates of construction, demolition and renovation.

Team: Dr Gustavo Sousa (Research Associate) and Dr Gareth Young (Knowledge Exchange Associate)

Theme: Wider Drivers