Predicted Impact of User Behaviour on Household Energy Savings

  • YEAR
    Kane, A.
    Fuller, Robert
    Treloar, Graham J.
    2006 Conference Papers
    Building and Energy


ABSTRACT: To date government programmes to reduce household energy consumption have
focussed on improving the thermal performance of the building envelope. This strategy has been
underpinned by the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). This software assumes
certain temperature settings for the heating and cooling devices, and the hours of their operation. This
paper describes the use of NatHERS to investigate the impact on end-use energy from changes in user
behaviour. Simulations have been conducted which analyse the effectiveness of small changes in the
thermostat settings of the heating and cooling devices and through reductions in their operating hours.
The effectiveness of these changes is simulated for houses with 2-star and 5-star ratings. The level of
end-use energy reduction is compared to that achieved by increasing levels of star rating through
improvements in building envelope performance. The results of the analysis show that by encouraging
small changes in the operation of household heating and cooling devices, significant reductions in enduse
energy are possible. The level of reduction is often comparable to that produced by improving the
thermal performance of the building envelope. Educating homeowners about the impact of their
behaviour should therefore receive greater priority among strategies to reduce residential energy


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