The sustainability of new housing developments in the UK is assessed considering not just absolute levels of energy use, but by benchmarking consumption against existing areas with similar characteristics, both social (socio-economic/demographic) and physical (housing type/level of urbanisation/accessibility). Recent UK government datasets provide annual information from over 28 million household electricity meters, 23 million gas meters and 30 million vehicle odometers. The use of vehicle odometer readings and vehicle characteristics from annual vehicle safety inspection tests allows energy consumption from private motor vehicles to be assessed alongside domestic gas and electricity consumption, in order to develop a holistic assessment of household direct energy consumption (see Chatterton et al., 2015; Chatterton et al., 2016). This work uses year-to-year changes in the number of electricity meters to identify areas with new housing developments. Using data from the UK Census, energy consumption in these areas is benchmarked against similar areas to assess whether new housing appears to meet policy aspirations towards energy reduction. After categorising different types of areas, an assessment is then made of the extent to which social and structural variations appear to drive differences in energy consumption.
Chatterton, et al. (2016) Mapping household direct energy consumption in the United Kingdom to provide a new perspective on energy justice. Energy Research & Social Science, (18) p71-87 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2016.04.013
Chatterton, et al. (2015) Use of a novel dataset to explore spatial and social variations in car type, size, usage and emissions. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, (39) p151-164 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trd.2015.06.003