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The impact of energy efficient refurbishment on the space heating fuel consumption in English dwellings


The aim of this study is to examine the effect of a major domestic energy efficiency refurbishment programme on domestic space heating fuel consumption. The case study dwellings were monitored either before or after (or both) the introduction of energy efficiency retrofit measures such as cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, draught stripping and energy efficient heating system. Property and utility consumption data were collected and half-hourly living room and main bedroom temperatures were monitored for 2-4 week period over two winters from a total of 1372 households selected from five major urban areas in England. Space heating fuel consumption was normalized to account for variation in the indoor-outdoor temperature difference and the dwelling floor area. The findings show that cavity wall and loft insulation can reduce the space heating fuel consumption by 10% in centrally heated properties and 17% in non-centrally heated properties. However, the introduction of a gas central heating system, although theoretically more efficient, has no significant impact in reducing fuel consumption even after adjusting for increased internal temperature.