About the End Use Energy Demand Centres

A brief overview of the work of our End Use Energy Demand Centres is presented here (and also on our End Use Energy Demand Centres leaflet). Please visit the individual websites for full details, resources and downloads.

End Use Energy Demand Centres

How Society Shapes Demand

The Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand (DEMAND) Centre starts from the perspective that energy is not used for its own sake but in the course of carrying out social practices at home, work and in moving around. These practices, and what are seen as normal ways of living, are constantly evolving along with the development of technologies and infrastructures. When planning for future energy use we should be clear that social practices will continue to change and that there is therefore scope to steer these processes of change towards lower energy ways of living. www.demand.ac.uk

Applying Real-World Data

The RCUK Centre for Energy Epidemiology (CEE) links data from energy companies with data about buildings and people from other sources to build a clearer picture of how people use energy, and whether taking certain energy saving actions is effective. A condensing gas boiler can work very differently in lab conditions than in the home. Differences occur due to the way the whole central heating system works, and how residents use heating controls. People often have sophisticated home heating controls which they (and even the central heating installers) have little understanding of how to operate. www.cee.ac.uk

Analysing Innovations

The Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED), uses a ‘socio-technical’ approach to look at the impact of new technologies (heat pumps, driverless cars), social arrangements (car sharing) and modes of behaviour (e.g. cycling) on reducing energy demand. Where energy analysts focus on energy supply and technology exclusively, CIED aim to unpack the ‘human software’ to go alongside the technical hardware. They aim to understand how patterns of innovation and new technologies interact with user behavior, market trends, and the broader political environment, to name a few factors. www.cied.ac.uk

Investigating Materials

The Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products (CIE-MAP) research how the materials used in manufacturing are chosen, processed, transported and deployed to identify areas where energy demand could be reduced across the process. The scope of the research takes in everything from construction and manufacturing to transport and consumer behaviour. For example the weight of materials used in construction (and the greater energy needed to transport them) affect overall energy demand, as does the psychology behind why and when we throw away electric appliances and buy new ones. The Centre’s findings can be applied to users from government and industry to individual households. www.ciemap.ac.uk

Heating and Cooling

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Storage, Transformation and Upgrading of Thermal Energy (i-STUTE) look at a range of innovative tools for use in domestic and industrial central heating, air conditioning and storage. Their research looks for example at heat pumps, which offer alternatives to traditional central heating utilising energy from ground, air or water. The Centre also analyse business models for introducing these technologies to market, giving an understanding of how they could be scaled out in the real world. The Centre also looks at drivers and barriers to the take up of these technologies in commercial and domestic settings. www.i-stute.org

Tracking Food Life Cycles

The Centre for Sustainable Energy Use in Food Chains (CSEF) looks at the energy used in producing, processing, packaging, transporting, storing, cooking and disposing of our food. They seek to identify ‘hotspots’ in energy use across the process rather than focusing on one area such as packaging or transport. The Centre can trace the lifecycle of, for example, a tin of tomatoes or a carton of icecream, from the original ingredients to the dinner table. They also advise industry, retailers and consumers as to where in the cycle energy is being unnecessarily used. www.foodenergy.org.uk

Other projects

Our nine Working with Centres projects and five Cross-Centre projects give additional value to the work of the End Use Energy Demand Centres by using the existing infrastructure to explore other aspects of energy demand research.