A study into the variability of UK domestic energy assessments

Gledhill, T 2021, A study into the variability of UK domestic energy assessments , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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In the UK, the residential sector accounts for around 29% of overall energy consumption. After transport, it is the largest single consumer of energy, and is responsible for approximately 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions. There is a growing need to address this, if ambitious and binding targets are to be met by 2050. A fundamental part of this broad context is the ability to be able to measure the energy efficiency of a residential building accurately and consistently, so that progress against targets can be measured, current emissions can be calculated, and robust data can be used to formulate policy. The focus of this research is primarily that of assessing a property’s energy efficient status by the Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA), to ascertain whether there is variability in the results of the energy performance certificates (EPCs) they produce using the RdSAP software model, that will have implications for the wider context outlined here. In achieving this, the research utilises a mixed methods approach to look first at the findings of a number of semi-structured interviews with practising DEAs, and following this, it analyses site-based energy performance certificates (EPCs) undertaken by DEAs at two control properties. The information produced during both exercises is scrutinised, and synthesised with existing literature, and targets practitioners, academics and those involved in the creation of energy efficienct policy for residential buildings. The results present a contribution to knowledge by identifying variability within EPC outputs, which is widely acknowledged by practising DEAs, further supported during the site based study of two buildings, and underpinned by the literature. This variability may be attributed to different stages of the energy surveying process, and a variety of reasons, including the way the EPC is perceived (by both the DEAs producing them and the public), the training and experience of DEAs, how EPCs are audited, and conflicts of interest surrounding the commissioning of EPCs. The research concludes by summarising the findings and making proposals, which will help to support the development of a more effective process in assessing the energy efficient status of residential buildings.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Swan, W (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Depositing User: Toby Gledhill
Date Deposited: 12 May 2022 15:56
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 02:30
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/63675

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