Energy efficient technologies in the UK – installing, adopting, learning and everyday lives

Panel: 8. Dynamics of consumption

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Authors:
Philip Brown, University of Salford, United Kingdom
Will Swan, The University of Salford, United Kingdom
Richard Fitton, The University of Salford, United Kingdom

Abstract

The United Kingdom (UK) housing stock, like the majority of Europe, is facing significant challenges around carbon reduction, energy consumption and energy affordability. Energy consumption and the cost of fuel continue to increase and the housing stock becomes older. At the governmental level there has been, and continues to be, a strong drive to tackle these issues through the retrofit of existing dwellings. Although the installation of energy efficient technologies in the homes of owner occupiers is still the exception rather than the norm, the social housing sector are pioneers in this area and have been installing increasingly efficient technologies and interfaces in homes for a number of years. These households within the social housing sector are effectively serving as test sites from where we can understand how new technologies and interfaces are being adopted, installed, understood and used in-situ. This paper draws upon findings arising from a multi-method study which aimed to understand the processes involved in the adoption of energy efficient technologies within the social housing sector. Of central importance to this research was understanding the barriers and concerns to installing energy efficient technologies in the homes of social housing tenants. The research also focused upon attempting to better understand the issues faced by technology providers, developers and housing providers when supplying energy reducing technologies to households. Emerging findings are highlighting that there are currently a number of areas where there is a mismatch between householders, social landlords and those responsible for designing and installing energy efficient technologies for deployment within the UK housing stock.

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