Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Decarbonising the English residential sector : modelling policies, technologies and behaviour within a heterogeneous building stock
Author: Kelly, Scott
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
The residential sector in England is often identified as having the largest potential for emissions reduction at some of the lowest costs when compared against other sectors. In spite of this, decarbonisation within the residential sector has not materialised. This thesis explores the complexities of decarbonising the residential sector in England using a whole systems approach. It is only when the interaction between social, psychological, regulatory, technical, material and economic factors are considered together that the behaviour of the system emerges and the relationships between different system components can be explained giving insight into the underlying issues of decarbonisation. Building regulations, assessments and certification standards are critical for motivating and driving innovation towards decarbonising the building stock. Many existing building performance and evaluation tools are shown to be ineffective and confound different policy objectives. Not only is the existing UK SAP standard shown to be a poor predictor of dwelling level energy demand but it perversely incentivises households to increase CO2 emissions. At the dwelling level, a structural equation model is developed to quantify direct, indirect and total effects on residential energy demand. Interestingly, building efficiency is shown to have reciprocal causality with a household’s propensity to consume energy. That is, dwellings with high-energy efficiency consume less energy, but homes with a propensity to consume more energy are also more likely to have higher energy efficiency. Internal dwelling temperature is one of the most important parameters for explaining residential energy demand over a heterogeneous building stock. Yet bottom up energy demand models inadequately incorporate internal temperature as a function of human behaviour. A panel model is developed to predict daily mean internal temperatures from individual dwellings. In this model, socio-demographic, behavioural, physical and environmental variables are combined to estimate the daily fluctuations of mean internal temperature demand. The internal temperature prediction model is then incorporated in a bottom-up engineering simulation model. The residential energy demand model is then used to project decarbonisation scenarios to 2050. Under the assumption of consistent energy demand fuel share allocation, modelling results suggest that emissions from the residential sector can be reduced from 125 MtCO2 to 44 MtCO2 after all major energy efficiency measures have been applied, the power sector is decarbonised and all newly constructed dwellings are zero carbon. Meeting future climate change targets will thus not only require extensive energy efficiency upgrades to all existing dwellings but also the complete decarbonisation of end use energy demand. Such a challenge can only be met through the transformation of existing building regulations, models that properly allow for the effects of human behaviour, and flexible policies capable of maximising impact from a heterogeneous residential building stock.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Cambridge Econometrics Bursary ; University College London
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Buildings ; Energy ; Behaviour ; Modelling ; Systems ; Building stock ; Energy demand ; Temperature