EVALOC - Evaluating Low Carbon Communities

 

The project seeks to assess, explain and communicate changes in energy use due to community activities within 6 communities funded by DECC’s Low Carbon Communities Challenge.

Aims

The project seeks to assess, explain and communicate the changes in energy use due to community activities within six selected case study projects under the Department of Energy and Climate Change's (DECC) Low Carbon Communities Challenge (LCCC) initiative, a government-supported initiative to transform the way communities use and produce energy, and build new ways of supporting more sustainable living.

Methodology

The project involves a two-pronged methodological approach using complementary and integrated qualitative and quantitative survey methods for data collection and analysis in six selected case study low carbon community (LCC) areas. These LCC projects are evaluated in terms of their IMPACTS (on changing individual and community energy behaviours), EFFECTIVENESS (on achieving real-savings in energy use and carbon emissions) and SUCCESS (in bringing about sustained and systemic change).

To undertake such an integrated evaluation, the research programme is divided into two core elements:

  • Community Level Action Research which involves working interactively with the Low Carbon Communities and its residents through focus groups; and community events
  • Household Level Monitoring and Modelling the effectiveness and impacts of the DECC interventions on energy consumption on an individual level. The household level research has several streams including carbon mapping (specifically DECoRuM); household level monitoring and occupancy feedback; energy display libraries and trials; and social network analysis

The final strand of the project is Knowledge Transfer with the core aim to catalyse and facilitate exchange of knowledge between different communities, as well as the community groups working on energy with which communities interact.

Outputs

There are to be several key outputs of the research including a community engagement toolkit, interactive community monitoring, bottom-up dataset of monitored data of actual energy consumption, thermal environment and occupant feedback from 30 retrofitted houses, social and community networks for identifying 'communication pathways' for rolling out energy discourses, an experts workshop, and finally an end-of-project conference will be held for all 6 case study communities.

PROJECT TEAM

PUBLICATIONS

DISSEMINATION

Workshops & Conferences

  • Energy and Communities Projects
    Dated: March 2012
  • CLUES conference: Energy in the Locality
    Dated: May 2012

Posters

  • EVALOC display poster
    Dated: May 2012
  • EVALOC leaflet
    Dated: May 2012

CONTACT DETAILS

Low Carbon Building Group

Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus
Gipsy Lane
Oxford, OX3 0BP