Ten household living labs study – results summary

29 Oct 2017

Houses designed to be energy and water efficient often do not perform as intended. One of the reasons for this is occupant behaviour. Rebound effects and lack of awareness mean that behaviour and practices need to be addressed as part of the strategies to reduce emissions in the residential sector. While the design is important to minimise resource consumption in the house, the way houses are used can have an equal effect on performance. However, energy and water use in households are still poorly understood and so are the effects of behaviour change strategies.This research confirmed that energy efficient or ‘waterwise’ houses do not always perform optimally. Modifying the way houses are operated daily can make a great impact on performance and bills. Real-life monitoring systems can help detect failures and inform households to ensure that resources are not wasted. It is important that real-life monitoring is engaging, user-friendly and meets household needs so they are frequently used.

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