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Boyd, P and Schweber, L (2018) Unintended consequences: institutional artefacts, closure mechanisms and the performance gap. Building Research & Information, 46(01), 10–22.

Darby, S J (2018) Smart technology in the home: time for more clarity. Building Research & Information, 46(01), 140–7.

Frances, Z and Stevenson, F (2018) Domestic photovoltaic systems: the governance of occupant use. Building Research & Information, 46(01), 23–41.

Gram-Hanssen, K and Georg, S (2018) Energy performance gaps: promises, people, practices. Building Research & Information, 46(01), 1–9.

Hansen, A R, Gram-Hanssen, K and Knudsen, H N (2018) How building design and technologies influence heat-related habits. Building Research & Information, 46(01), 83–98.

Hargreaves, T, Wilson, C and Hauxwell-Baldwin, R (2018) Learning to live in a smart home. Building Research & Information, 46(01), 127–39.

Madsen, L V (2018) Materialities shape practices and notions of comfort in everyday life. Building Research & Information, 46(01), 71–82.

Palm, J, Ellegård, K and Hellgren, M (2018) A cluster analysis of energy-consuming activities in everyday life. Building Research & Information, 46(01), 99–113.

Sunikka-Blank, M, Galvin, R and Behar, C (2018) Harnessing social class, taste and gender for more effective policies. Building Research & Information, 46(01), 114–26.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: energy efficiency; gender issues; household energy; public policy; social theory; thermal retrofit;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0961-3218
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/09613218.2017.1356129
  • Abstract:
    This paper explores why domestic energy policies, thermal retrofitting and the operation of domestic energy-efficient technologies are often met with social inertia in practice. Two sets of interview data – UK homeowners who have retrofitted their property and social housing tenants living in energy-efficient housing – reveal a very different mix of habits, skills and attitudes regarding domestic heating, rooted in socio-economic background and further determined by tenure. Middle-class homeowners’ retrofit design were part of their social and economic capital and self-expression of taste. These aspirational retrofits were characterized by comfort, conspicuous consumption and do-it-yourself (DIY) activities. Policy should strengthen these ‘paths of least resistance’ by providing resources to harness the taste-motivated retrofit stream. In contrast, the less-privileged tenant group struggled with the basic interaction with new technologies imposed on them and need more tailor-made paths: simpler heating controls; a simpler manual for some; and practical measures such as burglar-proof natural ventilation. The paper explores how social stratification and status-led consumption can be brought into understandings of energy retrofitting practices. Reflecting on gender in such contexts could also help to overcome exclusion practices and stereotyping, and there are market opportunities for retrofit packages to engage women and harness their emerging interest in DIY.

van den Brom, P, Meijer, A and Visscher, H (2018) Performance gaps in energy consumption: household groups and building characteristics. Building Research & Information, 46(01), 54–70.

Wade, F, Murtagh, N and Hitchings, R (2018) Managing professional jurisdiction and domestic energy use. Building Research & Information, 46(01), 42–53.