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EnergyAdapt

The impact of climate change uncertainties on the performance of energy efficiency measures applied to dwellings.

European Union and UK energy policy recognise the potential contribution the domestic sector can make in reducing energy consumption. In the UK, improvements to existing dwellings are likely to play a critical role in realising such potential. There is growing evidence that the global climate is changing. In the UK, projected climate changes could have a considerable impact on the thermal performance of the built environment and on measures implemented to improve such performance. Building simulations designed to investigate the potential impact of climate change uncertainties on the performance of insulation measures, applied retrospectively to an existing residential dwelling, suggest their effect could be considerable. Thermally, double glazing is the best option because although it is more sensitive than the others to climate change, it still delivers the highest savings in heating energy demand for the lowest induced cooling load. Loft insulation is the worst option in thermal terms.

A case study has been developed to investigate the relative performance of energy efficiency measures applied retrospectively to an existing residential dwelling. It focuses on the impact of uncertainties associated with the nature of climate change, and considers how different climate scenarios influence both heating and cooling demand.

Gaterell, M.R. and M.E. McEvoy, 2005: The impact of climate change uncertainties on the performance of energy efficiency measures applied to dwellings. Energy and Buildings, 37, 982-995.

Anticipating long term climate change

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