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Title: Causes and implications of socio-ecomic differentiation in residential energy efficiency retrofitting
Author: Ashby, Robert P.
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2013
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Analysis of fuel expenditure statistics indicates that for the majority of householders, more fuel efficient homes can explain approximately 15% of fuel demand changes between 2002 and 2008. The analysis suggests that other factors, such as rising fuel costs and warmer winters, account for vast majority of the demand changes during this period. But in upper quartile income households, any demand reduction brought about by energy efficiency was undetectable against the changes caused by price and temperature variations. This thesis provides evidence of disproportionately low insulation retro-fitting rates in upper quartile income homes and suggests two predominant causes. Firstly, approximately 95% of upper quartile income householders were ineligible for retro-fit assistance from the state agencies and secondly, the relative value of energy efficiency is less in the most affluent households, because the proportion of income spent on fuel tends to decline as incomes rise. Fuel expenditure statistics indicate that the household fuel demand reductions delivered by greater household energy efficiency between 2002 and 2008 would have been approximately 30% greater if the most affluent households had retro-fitted basic energy efficiency measures at similar rates to their lower income neighbours. Household surveys in two affluent districts support one of the principal findings from the study of fuel expenditure statistics, that energy efficiency tends to be less valuable to affluent households, which tends to make the fuel rich, collectively, more apathetic towards energy efficiency. However when motivational barriers are removed, the fuel rich tend to accept energy efficiency retro-fits in disproportionately large numbers. The thesis concludes that effective household emission reduction programmes need policies which also stimulate greater energy efficiency by increasing the value of energy efficiency, particularly in affluent homes.
Supervisor: Escott, Karen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available