About the talk:

The housing stock in the UK is amongst the least efficient in Europe and is also some of the oldest with one in every five dwellings built before 1919. Such properties expose occupants to dangerously cold conditions and fuel poverty. Indeed, the UK has the highest levels of fuel poverty in Western Europe (17 per cent of the households were fuel poor in 2011), despite benefitting from lower energy prices.

There are two main ways of tackling this issue: through the replacement of existing housing with new, low energy homes and by improving the energy performance of the existing stock. This seminar presents findings from two UK studies looking at different aspects of these two approaches. The first employs video to understand the realities of living in purpose built ‘eco-housing’, the challenges presented by the transition to low energy living and issues around the human-technical interface which prevent low energy homes from realising their energy and carbon saving potential. The second considers why UK policies and initiatives have so far failed to convince private landlords of the benefits of improving the energy efficiency of their properties. Practice, identity and transition theories are employed to help understand the limitations of both approaches.


About the Speaker:

Aimee Ambrose is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University (UK). Aimee’s background is in sociology, planning and architecture and she has combined these disciplines in her studies of user responses to low energy buildings and carbon reduction interventions. Most recently she has led studies for the UK government looking at non-technical barriers to the deployment of low carbon heat networks. For the last three years Aimee has also been exploring non-technical barriers to improving energy efficiency in the private rented sector.