Urban energy generation: the added value of photovoltaics in social housing

Bahaj, A.S. and James, P.A.B. (2006) Urban energy generation: the added value of photovoltaics in social housing Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 11, (9), pp. 2121-2136. (doi:10.1016/j.rser.2006.03.007).


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Social housing offers an alternative for low-to-medium income families and keyworkers (teachers, nurses, and police). In the United Kingdom (UK), this fairly priced, rental accommodation is normally owned by housing associations. This paper explores urban energy generation (micro-generation) focussing on photovoltaics (PV) and how its generated electricity can be used to provide added value in terms of demand reduction and contribute to a reduction in fuel poverty. It presents the results associated from in-depth monitoring of nine low-energy social housing units equipped with PV systems commissioned in 2004 in the South of England, UK. We report on energy load profiles and relate these to occupier behaviour and any changes in consumption that occur. The results highlight the impact of micro-generation showing a close correlation between occupant behaviour and energy consumption. Increased energy awareness can lead to changes in the way energy is used, reducing overall consumption but ‘education’ must be sustained to ensure long-term energy reductions. The financial benefit of operating high demand electrical appliances at the peak of the solar day as opposed to in the evening when overall demand on the central grid is higher is highlighted. The paper also draws conclusions allied to the challenges that PV micro-generation technology presents in the social housing context.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.rser.2006.03.007
ISSNs: 1364-0321 (print)
Keywords: urban energy generation, energy tariffs photovoltaics, building integration, fuel poverty
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
ePrint ID: 39494
Date :
Date Event
December 2006Published
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 21:55
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/39494

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