The role of thermostatic radiator valves for the control of space heating in UK social-rented households
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This paper provides an analysis of the relationships between dwelling, household and motivation, behaviour and perception characteristics and thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) settings in living rooms (n=187) and bedrooms (n=159) in UK social housing. The work capitalises on primary data from a socio-technical household survey undertaken in Plymouth, UK during 2015, which was coupled with building audit data. The mean reported TRV setpoint temperatures in the living rooms and bedrooms were 23.4°C and 21.9°C, implying that occupants prefer cooler conditions in bedrooms. There were systematic variations according to dwelling, household, and motivation, behaviour and perception characteristics. In general, the setpoint temperatures in individual rooms were higher than the whole house thermostat setpoint temperature, implying that there may be a misunderstanding of the role of TRVs in the home heating system. The research could enable social housing providers, the government and commercial organisations to target energy efficiency measures (i.e. thermal upgrades) and social interventions (i.e. behaviour change) at those dwellings and households where their impact may be most beneficial. The results presented could also be used to improve the assumptions of zonal heating behaviour in energy models, which could result in more realistic predictions of the heating demands of social housing.
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