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How household thermal routines shape UK home heating demand patterns

Hanmer, C; Shipworth, M; Shipworth, D; Carter, E; (2019) How household thermal routines shape UK home heating demand patterns. Energy Efficiency , 12 (1) pp. 5-17. 10.1007/s12053-018-9632-x. Green open access

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Abstract

In homes in the UK, it is very common to operate space heating intermittently; the heating is usually switched off when the occupants are asleep at night and when they are out during the day. The strong association between heating operation and household routines leads to a morning peak in demand which, if it persists following electrification of heating, will require significant reinforcement of electricity supply networks. This paper examines factors that underpin how heating is used in the UK. A unique dataset of heating controller settings from 337 UK allows investigation of how patterns of heating operation in individual homes contribute to daily patterns of space heating energy consumption at the group level. A mixed method approach is followed, combining quantitative analysis of data with interviews with householders. The concept of thermal routines is introduced, bringing a time dimension to the consideration of domestic thermal comfort and recognising that demand for space heating is linked to patterns of practices in the home, which are themselves linked to social routines, e.g. timing of work and school. The results from this study suggest that household thermal routines around 07:00 in the morning are a particularly important consideration for a transition to future energy systems with a high proportion of low carbon heat. Factors that currently limit flexibility of heating demand in the UK are identified, and the implications for a transition to low carbon heating sources are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: How household thermal routines shape UK home heating demand patterns
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s12053-018-9632-x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12053-018-9632-x
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is an open access publication
Keywords: Domestic space heating, Energy demand patterns
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10047281
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