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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/K002457/1
Title REFIT: Personalised Retrofit Decision Support Tools for UK Homes using Smart Home Technology
Status Completed
Energy Categories Energy Efficiency(Residential and commercial) 75%;
Renewable Energy Sources(Solar Energy) 5%;
Renewable Energy Sources(Wind Energy) 5%;
Renewable Energy Sources(Bio-Energy) 5%;
Renewable Energy Sources(Hydropower) 5%;
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Fuel Cells) 5%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Computer Science and Informatics) 25%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Architecture and the Built Environment) 25%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 25%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Technology acceptance) 25%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 25%;
Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 25%;
Principal Investigator Dr SK Firth
No email address given
Civil and Building Engineering
Loughborough University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 May 2012
End Date 31 October 2015
Duration 42 months
Total Grant Value £740,727
Industrial Sectors Construction; Energy
Region East Midlands
Programme Digital Economy : Digital Economy, Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr SK Firth , Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University (99.997%)
  Other Investigator Dr VA Mitchell , Ergonomics and Safety Research Institute, Loughborough University (0.001%)
Professor TM Hassan , Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University (0.001%)
Dr AJ May , Loughborough Design School, Loughborough University (0.001%)
  Recognised Researcher Dr F (Farid ) Fouchal , Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University (0.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , BSRIA (0.000%)
Project Contact , IBM United Kingdom Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Instruments Corp (UK) Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Adapt Low Carbon Group (0.000%)
Project Contact , Green Energy Options Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , COMIT - Construction Opportunities for Mobile IT (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Refurbishment Centre (0.000%)
Project Contact , Sentec Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Fiatech, USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , RWE Effizienz GmbH, Germany (0.000%)
Project Contact , Thales Alenia Space UK Ltd (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Thermal efficiency retrofit options, appliance upgrades and on-site renewables represent a significant opportunity to deliver energy demand reductions to UK homes. The potential to reduce thermal heat losses through insulation and airtightness (in particular in pre-1980s housing), upgrade the household appliance stock (using the latest energy saving models) and integrated on-site renewables and microgeneration (developing a 'prosumer' culture and reducing energy bills) still remains largely unrealised. There are a number of challenges in providing advice for retrofit solutions to consumers which will promote behaviour change and influence purchasing decisions. Currently consumer information is based on standardised methodologies for nominal house types and the resulting predictions of energy savings have minimal resemblance to reality where the thermal efficiency of the dwelling, efficiency of heating system and appliances, occupancy, user behaviour and preferences will have a significant impact on the effectiveness and uptake of retrofit measures. One solution is to provide consumers with personalised, accurate and trustworthy predictions of energy saving measures which are calibrated and tailored to their dwelling and living patterns, presented in a format to engage and promote action.This proposal will facilitate a widespread uptake of retrofit measures in UK homes by implementing a holistic approach to providing consumers with personalised, tailored retrofit advice delivered using methods to maximise consumer engagement. Smart Home technology provides a unique opportunity to use real-time measurements, advanced data analytics, digital signal processing and communications techniques, novel visualisation, semantic web and cloud computing technologies to generate advice at different levels of abstraction for informed and justified decision making. The Smart Home concept is currently gaining significant momentum and new developments in open systems, simple use and installation features (ie plug and play), mobile access (ie Smart Phones) and connectivity have brought the concept to the attention of energy companies, ICT companies and appliance manufacturers. The IBM vision of a Smart(er) Home gives three characteristics: 1) Instrumented (sensors and automation of household activities); 2) Interconnected (communication between devices and wider networks - allowing remote access and control of devices); and 3) Intelligent ('the ability to make decisions based on data, leading to better outcomes'). Smart Homes provide consumers with more control over their homes and energy systems and, importantly, how their energy demand and costs can be reduced through interventions.This proposal brings together a multi-disciplinary team of building, ICT, energy, design and user experts to develop a personalised decision support platform for building envelope retrofits, heating system and appliance replacement purchases, and on-site renewables integration. This will deliver a step-change in the provision and accuracy of retrofit advice to UK householders leading to a low-energy and low-carbon future housing stock. The outcomes will be of benefit to: energy, ICT, embedded systems and telecommunication companies developing technology and business models for Smart Home services; consumers to lower their energy bills and improve the safety, security and comfort of their homes; building component, boiler and appliance manufacturers developing the next generation of low-energy products; and policy makers for new insights into innovative approaches to meeting the security, affordability and carbon reduction aspirations of the UK energy system
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 28/05/12