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Modelling Improvements in Domestic Energy Efficiency

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Number 1 (2001)



There are a number of driving forces behind energy efficiency. In recent times, the Kyoto Protocol has been the most prominent in bringing energy efficiency to the fore. In some countries, the domestic sector has been highlighted as an area that has a significant potential for improvement. This paper describes the development of a computer model to enable a bottom-up assessment of the technical potential for energy saving in the domestic sector using Ireland's dwelling stock as a case study. Specifically, the national savings in energy costs, CO sub(2) and other environmental emissions, as well as the capital costs resulting from the implementation of various energy-saving retrofit measures across the dwelling stock, are predicted. A feature of the model is that a dynamic modelling process was used to project into the future to predict the extent to which energy and emissions savings might be forgone in exchange for improvements in comfort and health. The computer model is used to assess the physical costs and benefits of a large-scale domestic energy-efficiency programme. The results of the assessment are presented, difficulties in the modelling process are discussed and areas for future research highlighted.