DEDEUS – Describing and Explaining Domestic Energy Use in Scotland – is a research project within the wider Smart Energy Research Lab (SERL). It is running from October 2020 until June 2022.
DEDEUS aims to provide a detailed understanding of patterns of gas and electricity use in Scottish households, based on high resolution smart meter data. We will investigate both the total energy used per day and identify common daily ‘demand profiles’ – the patterns of energy use over the course of a day. We will analyse how different factors relate to the patterns of demand profile and levels of energy use a household has, such as their family structure, building type and energy efficiency, behavioural factors such as approaches to staying warm at home, working hours and schooling, and contextual factors including outdoor temperature and the level of urban or rural setting. We will look at how household energy use changes over the course of weeks and seasons, and the extent to which households have stable or varying patterns of energy use over time, indicative of the level of routine in a household’s energy using activities. How ongoing policy and social responses to COVID-19 (e.g. lockdown rules) vary over time and by location will be considered, including how these shape the options open to households in terms of places of work and schooling and leisure activities outside the home.
This project will draw on data collected from an estimated 945 homes in Scotland that have been recruited to participate in the GB-wide SERL project. The data will include smart meter data and linked occupant, building, appliance and weather data for a nationally representative sample of the population. Importantly the data are ‘live’ – they will continue to be updated throughout the project. As the smart meter data is collected at a resolution of every 30 minutes, it will provide an unprecedented level of detail. The project will analyse energy usage patterns over 18 months.
The project will produce a range of journal articles and reports for non-academic audiences, focusing on findings that are of particular relevance to Scotland’s Energy Strategy and domestic energy consumers.
The Scottish Government is committed to rapidly decarbonising the energy system whilst addressing fuel poverty and inequality issues, and in its 2019 Energy Consumer Action Plan, it highlighted how “Scotland’s distinct economic, social and geographic circumstances present unique challenges in ensuring the energy market works well for all Scottish consumers”. By focusing purely on Scotland’s homes, this project will be able to take into account factors in Scotland that are markedly different from the rest of the UK, such as the level of very remote locations and the high prevalence of pre-20th century and early 20th century ‘tenement’ terraced flats in its cities, and produce outputs relevant to Scotland’s energy policy and domestic users.
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