Addressing health and equity in residential low carbon transitions–Insights from a pragmatic retrofit evaluation in Australia / N Willand, C Maller, I Ridley – Energy Research & Social Science, Elsevier — Health and equity present obligations and currently under-realised opportunities in low carbon transitions. Energy efficiency improvements of homes may benefit health and access to affordable energy, yet better knowledge about contextual mechanisms and household practices is needed for the development of effective programs. This paper presents a mixed methods evaluation of a quasi-randomised controlled retrofit trial targeting low-income older householders.
Balancing Energy Efficiency and Heat Wave Resilience in Building Design [Chapter] / M Alam, J Sanjayan, PXW Zou – Climate Adaptation Engineering, Elsevier — Heat waves are one of the most critical climate-related risks around the world. Over the past 100 years, heat waves have caused more deaths than any other natural hazard. Due to climate change, both the frequency and severity of heat waves are increasing significantly. This chapter describes several heat stress indicators that can be used to quantify the level of heat stress inside a building and presents different adaptation strategies to reduce the indoor overheating period during a heat wave period. The criteria to select optimum adaptive measures have been described. The importance of incorporating both energy efficiency and heat wave resilience in future building design has been discussed.
Designing trust: how strategic intermediaries choreograph homeowners’ low-carbon retrofit experience / M de Wilde, G Spaargaren – Building Research & Information, Talyor & Francis — In the Netherlands, as in other European countries, the uncertain, fragmented character of the low-carbon retrofit market hampers a transition towards sustainable housing. Connecting homeowners to supply-side actors of low-carbon retrofit procedures, products and technologies in ways satisfactory to homeowners forms an important, challenging task. Service design for the benefit of a customer-centric perspective might be a solution. This paper investigates the potential role of strategic intermediaries as agents of change located between supply-side actors and homeowners. It asks how strategic intermediaries choreograph low-carbon retrofit experiences of homeowners through the design of a ‘customer journey’. Trust is a crucial determinant. This paper distinguishes between three customer-journey designs in which, depending on the role envisioned for homeowners, a different trust relation is foregrounded …
Distributive Energy Justice and the Common Good / A Melin – De Ethica. A Journal of Philosophical, Theological and Applied Ethics — Recently, philosophers and social scientists have shown increased interest in questions of social, global, and intergenerational distributive justice related to energy production and consumption. However, so far there have been only a few attempts to analyse questions of distributive energy justice from a religious point of view, which should be considered a lack since religions are an important basis of morality for a large part of the world’s population. In this article, I analyse issues of distributive energy justice from a Christian theological viewpoint by employing the Catholic common good tradition as a theoretical framework. First, I present and argue for a global and ecological interpretation of the Catholic common good tradition. Then I analyse the implications of such an interpretation on questions of distributive energy justice, focusing on the view of property rights within the Catholic common good tradition. I conclude that, in comparison with Nussbaum’s liberal capabilities approach, the common good tradition provides stronger reasons for individuals and groups in more economically developed countries to share their resources and knowledge with individuals and groups in less economically developed countries.
Economic analysis of energy savings & cost effectiveness of deep energy retrofits of residential buildings in England / A Agbonyin, S Zoras – International Journal of Real Estate & Land Planning– Buildings are known to consume a large proportion of the final energy demand (approximately 37%) in the United Kingdom. Fragmenting this further, about 60% of the supply of a building is expended in space and water heating. Modern building stock are constructed with thermal insulation and are fitted with energy efficient appliances and fixtures. For this reason, focus has to switch to the older building stock in England in order to identify more techniques to reduce energy consumption therefore reducing the carbon footprint of these buildings, to this end, several building energy upgrade methods such as double-glazed windows, attic insulation, green spaces etc. have been proposed and are commercially available; However, house owners and building stakeholders are often misinformed in making retrofit decisions, and often do so based on the strong marketing techniques of manufacturers. This paper generates a smart decision making matrix for stakeholders to select and invest in the optimal energy saving measures which would suit their building type. [Open access @ 2 July 2019]
Exploring the complexities of energy retrofit in mixed tenure social housing: a case study from England, UK / S Bright, D Weatherall, R Willis – Energy Efficiency, Springer — Article 19 of the Energy Efficiency Directive requires EU member states to address split incentives for energy efficiency between the multiple owners of buildings. But, building governance has been relatively neglected by researchers and policy makers working on Europe’s trajectory to a highly energy-efficient building stock. Taking a socio-legal approach, this paper illustrates the complexities that occur with retrofit of mixed tenure (social and private) apartment blocks and, more broadly, how building governance is a determinant of the costs and outcomes of refurbishment projects. Forty-two percent of Europeans live in apartments and mixed tenure apartment blocks and neighbourhoods have become more prevalent in Europe in recent decades. The paper focuses on a detailed study of a large refurbishment project of five tower blocks by Oxford City Council, involving external wall insulation and other energy efficiency measures.
Exploring the Effectiveness of an Energy Efficiency Behaviour Change Project on Well-Being Outcomes for Indigenous Households in Australia / Á Perényi, RE Bedggood, D Meyer, P Bedggood… – Sustainability, mdpi.com — The Koorie Energy Efficiency Project (KEEP) was a Victoria-based, Australian social marketing initiative designed to provide support to Indigenous households so they could better manage their energy bills by reducing or controlling their energy use. The program was delivered by trained, Indigenous project employees who visited Indigenous households in metropolitan and regional parts of the state. During the home visit, they provided an energy efficiency audit, as well as specific energy efficiency tips and advocacy support. Minor draft-proofing products were also supplied to each household. As part of this project, dwelling and householder information was gathered during each home visit, as well as measures of energy efficiency knowledge, behaviours, and well-being of the main householder before and after a home visit. The results indicate that home visits to support the energy efficiency of indigenous households are effective in terms of encouraging new energy efficiency knowledge, behaviours, and broader elements of well-being. [Open access @ 2 July 2019]
Home energy efficiency and radon: an observational study / P Symonds, D Rees, Z Daraktchieva, N McColl… – Indoor Air, Wiley –Exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer worldwide behind smoking. Changing the energy characteristics of a dwelling can influence both its thermal and ventilative properties, which can affect indoor air quality. This study uses radon measurements made in 470 689 UK homes between 1980 and 2015, linked to dwelling information contained within the Home Energy Efficiency Database (HEED). The linked dataset, the largest of its kind, was used to analyze the association of housing and energy performance characteristics with indoor radon concentrations in the UK. The findings show that energy efficiency measures that increase the airtightness of properties are observed to have an adverse association with indoor radon levels. [Open access @ 2 July 2019]
Household inclusion in the governance of housing retrofitting: Analysing Chinese and Dutch systems of energy retrofit provision / FJ de Feijter, BJM van Vliet, Y Chen – Energy Research & Social Science, Elsevier — One of the most important governance challenges in terms of energy saving is the physical upgrading of apartment buildings via housing retrofitting. In urban studies, little focus has been applied to the shape and character of the retrofit governance frameworks to realise inclusion of householders. Little is known about how these different frameworks, and the systems of provision they represent, impact on householders to achieve energy saving in their retrofitted houses. By recognising the importance of the relationship between provision and consumption, this study aims to analyse household inclusion in Chinese and Dutch systems of energy retrofit provision to suggest strategic improvements for intermediation. [Open access @ 2 July 2019]
Life cycle thinking toward sustainable development policy-making: The case of energy retrofits / O Pombo, B Rivela, J Neila – Journal of Cleaner Production, Elsevier — Viable implementation of building energy-efficiency policies is inevitable to mitigate climate change, above all as buildings account for around 40% of the world’s energy consumption. Although some 75% of all buildings in Europe are energy-inefficient, only 0.4–1.2% of the whole stock is renovated each year. The greatest challenge for the coming decades is to increase the rate, quality and effectiveness of building renovation. The overall goal of the present article is to illustrate the key role to be played by Life Cycle Thinking in sustainable development policies and its implementation in the design of optimal retrofitsolutions. The main housing renovation policies implemented in Spain were submitted to analysis using the focus of Life Cycle Approaches.
Role of knowledge and policies as drivers for low-energy housing: Case studies from the United Kingdom / M Martiskainen, P Kivimaa – Journal of Cleaner Production, Elsevier — Addressing housing-related energy consumption and emissions is a challenge in many countries. Low-energy housing, e.g. whole house retrofits and zero-energy new houses, is still rare in the United Kingdom, yet very much required to reduce emissions. This paper contributes to research on low-energy housing by adding new empirical material through analysing how specific drivers linked to knowledge, public policy and intermediary actors can influence successful projects. Based on in-depth case study research of both existing and new built low-energy housing projects in Brighton, United Kingdom (UK), we show that in addition to motivations to improve existing housing conditions, knowledge and available skills of householders and project participants, and both local and national policies, drive such projects.
Rooftop Photovoltaics: Distributed Renewable Energy and Storage (or Low-Cost PV Changes Everything) / A Sproul – Decarbonising the Built Environment, Springer — The recent emergence of low-cost Photovoltaics (PV) is examined in the Australian context. Rooftop PV for buildings in Australia is now able to deliver daytime electricity at a price well below that sourced from coal or gas fired generators through the grid; and has been installed in over 2 million Australian homes in less than a decade. This now means that energy efficiency approaches for addressing carbon reduction in the built environment need to be reassessed and only implemented if they are at a lower cost than rooftop PV. In addition, PV offsite generation is increasingly cost-effective. For example, the University of New South Wales has recently announced a Power Purchase Agreement to cover 100% of its electricity demand sourced from an offsite solar farm. This offer was the lowest in price and involved zero subsidies.
Why energy retrofitting in private dwellings is difficult in Norway: Coordinating the framing practices of government, craftspeople and homeowners / H Fyhn, RA Søraa, J Solli – Energy Research & Social Science — Retrofitting private homes to meet strict energy demands is a prioritised goal in climate mitigation policy. In this article we approach the challenge by analysing how retrofitting is framed differently by the government, homeowners and craftspeople acting as energy consultants. We follow a programme designed to support substantial retrofitting of homes in Norway from its introduction in 2012 through 2016, documenting how the programme was developed and modified to make it attractive for homeowners, and how it somehow never succeeded in becoming attractive. We suggest framing analysis in order to highlight the challenges government actors face in aligning their policy to homeowners and intermediaries.
SOURCE: Retrofitting Homes for Energy Efficiency : A selection of artilces from various sources [viewed 2 July 2019]
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