Concern & action: Rebound effects

Rebound effects occur when the full energy saving of a measure is not achieved due a number of factors, including comfort take back, change in occupation or building use pattern, use of savings to fund our energy consuming activities.

Suggested actions

Before Implementation

Record actual energy use by users (from meter readings) before implementation of measures and compare (where possible) with national benchmarks. Record default settings for heating used prior to refurbishment and assess comfort conditions. At design stage, carry out a calculation of predicted energy use reduction as a result of refurbishment based on, as far as possible, realistic (i.e. measured) estimates of pre-improvement fabric heat losses, including infiltration and occupants setting points and comfort requirements.

During implementation

Give clear information to users about appropriate default settings. Consider choice of the user interface for temperature control to steer users to acceptable temperature settings.

After implementation

Remind users about appropriate default settings for energy efficiency and make sure they know how to adjust temperature controls. Measure the real reduction of energy in use post refurbishment using metered heating energy use in comparison with logged thermostat settings and room temperature measurements. Assess and report results with regards energy use and comfort (including actual U-values, metered heating energy use and logged thermostat setting, rooms temperature readings and comfort assessment), comparing them with national benchmarks. Feedback results to occupants and wider building energy performance interest groups.