Energy meters, energy matters : The upton homes project

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This paper presents a small part of a project called SHINE TRUE, a collaboration research project working with businesses and expertise from Universities within the East Midlands, UK. The specific study, a qualitative research called "smart meters - energy matters" was done on the Upton Homes project in Northampton. Given the rapid change on the issues related to sustainability in homes, this project is a real life housing to be studied, learn from it and recommend on the housing issues at all levels. The Upton Homes are commercial sustainable homes built under the Code for Sustainable Homes of the UK and being occupied for all type of occupants, mostly families. On November 2006, one of the consultations proposed in the Energy Review report, "The Energy Challenge" (July 2006) was "Energy Billing and Metering. Changing customer behaviour" (BIS, 2006). It is assumed that by giving home residents a more complete picture of their electricity/gas consumptions, both in real-time and historic usage, will educate and inform people and therefore reduce the energy demand on homes, however, little research to demonstrate the veracity of this assumption has been made. Ten homes were selected to carry out a small trial on the use of monitoring technologies, such as energy meters, with real time display devices to test their possible influence on behaviour among home users in regard to energy consumption in recently built sustainable homes. The study involved the analysis of energy consumption data and verbatim interviews from the ten homes. The quantitative data was statistically analysed using SPSS and the interviews to occupants required a qualitative analysis using NVivo, both results lead to interesting conclusions coming from both, quantitative and qualitative data obtained from real-life case studies of sustainable homes recently built.




Hormazabal, N., Gillott, M., & Jackson, J. (2012). Energy meters, energy matters : The upton homes project. In Proceedings - 28th International PLEA Conference on Sustainable Architecture + Urban Design: Opportunities, Limits and Needs - Towards an Environmentally Responsible Architecture, PLEA 2012.

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