Domestic heating behaviour and room temperatures: Empirical evidence from Scottish homes

Martin Pullinger, Niklas Berliner, Nigel Goddard, David Shipworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In this paper, we describe patterns of residential heating based on data from 255 homes in and around Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, spanning August 2016 to June 2018. We describe: (i) the room temperatures achieved, (ii) the diurnal durations of heating use, and (iii) common diurnal patterns of heating behaviour. We investigate how these factors vary between weekdays and weekends, over the course of the year, by external temperature, and by room type. We compare these empirical findings with the simplifying assumptions about heating patterns found in the UK’s Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), a widely-used building energy performance model. There are areas of concurrence and others of substantial difference with these model assumptions. Indoor achieved temperatures are substantially lower than SAP assumptions. The duration and timings of heating use vary substantially between homes and along lines of season and outdoor temperature, whereas the SAP model assumes no such variation. Little variation is found along the lines of weekday vs. weekend, whereas the SAP model assumes differences, or between living space and other rooms, consistent with the SAP. The results are relevant for those interested in how SAP assumptions regarding household heating behaviours and achieved indoor temperatures concur with empirical data.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111509
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy and buildings
Early online date25 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Residential heating behaviours
  • Achieved temperatures
  • Heating durations
  • Diurnal heating patterns
  • Cluster analysis
  • Heating zoning
  • Seasonal change


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