Household energy use accounts for almost 60% across the EU and more than a quarter of all energy used in the UK (Palmer and Cooper, 2013). Space heating accounts for almost 67% of energy consumption across average European homes (Odyssee-Mure 2015) and 60% in UK households (DBEIS
2016a). Reducing energy consumption and its associated carbon dioxide emissions due to space heating has the potential, therefore, to make a significant contribution to the UK Government’s overall carbon reduction strategy. Recently, there has been a rapid development of increasingly sophisticated domestic heating control technology aimed at improving comfort and maximising the efficiency of domestic heating systems. However, there is uncertainty as to whether these technologies deliver
energy savings claimed by manufacturers in reality or in a cost-effective manner. This report presents a narrative overview of key insights on residents’ experiences of heating approaches in a recently built innovative low carbon housing development in Hanham, Bristol. The
study is a small part of a larger research project that includes extensive energy monitoring and testing
being carried out by the Building Services and Information Association (BSRIA). The purpose of the study was to ensure residents views and experiences of living in the development were fully captured in order to better understand how and why deviations to energy use occur in similar size homes with same build and occupancy. Cross analysis with BSRIA findings, however, have not been carried out yet. The findings in the study extend current academic work on examining heating approaches as
intertwined within a resident’s social, cultural and environmental context. In addition, the report
makes a timely limited contribution to recent governmental initiatives such as the Housing White paper, UK-GBC report on Health and Well-Being in residential properties, the Bonfield review, and the Zero Carbon Hub on skills, knowledge and the performance gap. It is important to acknowledge that work in his study includes a relatively small sample (48 out of 185 homes). Therefore, any
recommendations or implications have made account for future research that is needed to enable greater contributions to both BSRIAs overall research project as well as more broadly UK policy and practice.