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Changes in space heating energy consumption following energy efficient refurbishment in low-income dwellings in England

Hong, S.-H.; (2011) Changes in space heating energy consumption following energy efficient refurbishment in low-income dwellings in England. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study examines the change in the space heating energy consumption and its associated cost and carbon emissions following retrofit energy efficiency upgrade. 3 to 4 week fuel consumption and temperature data were collected from some 1500 dwellings over two successive winters in 2001/2002 and 2002/2003. The case study dwellings were occupied by elderly householders or families with young children and were either awaiting or had received a combination of draught proofing, insulation and central heating measures under England’s Warm Front Scheme. The findings show that the Warm Front Scheme resulted in a mean increase of 1.6 °C in indoor temperature and a mean increase of 12 % in fuel consumption. Nevertheless, the switch from electricity to gas for space heating following the introduction of gas boilers resulted in a mean reduction in heating cost by 7 %. The scheme was found to have negligible impact on carbon emissions. Characteristic differences were observed with individual energy efficiency measures. Central heating resulted in the greatest temperature rise by 2.3 °C followed by insulation by 0.7 °C with a negligible impact from draught proofing. Clear evidence was found in householders increasing the demand temperature following the introduction of a central heating system while no evidence of this was found following the introduction of insulation. In terms of energy use, insulation resulted in a mean saving of 9 % but fell short by 74 % to 84 % from the theoretical prediction while central heating resulted in a mean increase of 29 % in the energy consumption. Draught proofing was found to have little impact on the energy use. When examined in terms of energy cost, insulation and central heating all resulted in mean cost savings of 13 % and 9 % respectively but falling short by 55 % to 72 % and 57 % to 82 % compared to their respective theoretically predicted mean cost savings. Insulation also resulted in mean carbon emissions saving of 13 % but fell short by 56 % to 73 % from the theoretical prediction while central heating resulted in insignificant carbon emissions saving. Combining insulation with central heating was found to be beneficial in terms of mitigating the energy consumption rise associated with central heating from 29 % down to 16 % while maximizing the temperature gain by as much as 3.1 °C.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Changes in space heating energy consumption following energy efficient refurbishment in low-income dwellings in England
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School > Bartlett School of Architecture

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