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Housing Stock Optimisation Tool

As the ‘low hanging fruit’ of simple loft and cavity wall insulation jobs become harder to find, a more sophisticated approach to housing stock modelling is required. ACE research have developed the Housing Stock Optimisation Tool so that we can analyse energy efficiency policy in a way that reflects the true complexity of retrofit solutions.

The diagram below summarises the process used by ACE Research’s Housing Stock Optimisation Tool (HSOT). Each stage is described in more detail below.

HSOT detail

Latest available housing stock data

Highly detailed survey information is available for much of the United Kingdom. The English Housing Survey contains data on around 16,000 households including a detailed physical survey of the property and interview with occupants. Each property is weighted to allow a representative picture of the entire English housing stock to be formed. The Scottish House Condition Survey  holds a similar level of housing and house hold data for around 9,500 homes. HSOT aims to take full advantage of the available data sources. Where there are gaps in the data, representative properties are generated based on what is know about similar homes in the rest of the United Kingdom.

Convert to detailed models

Instead of using a limited number of ‘typical property’ archetypes to approximate the housing stock, our tool takes in all available data to produce detailed models of each surveyed property. This approach allows us to capture the true complexity of retrofitting our housing stock. We are able to identify opportunities such as flat roof extensions, loft conversions and partial suspended floors that more basic models would miss. In addition to this, the more basic approach is likely to gloss-over potential complications, treating all properties with the same ‘one size fits all’ improvements.

Apply improvements

Updates and improvements may need to be applied to the modelled housing stock in a number of different ways. Significant changes to the housing stock are likely since the date of survey. HSOT allows us to apply improvements from know energy efficiency programmes to the house types and households that we know have received them. In addition, general improvements, particularly boiler replacement and double glazing can be applied across the stock. Once the stock is up-to-date HSOT allows us to explore different improvement options across the stock depending on our goal. This might be targeting a minimum EPC standard or focussing on cost effective improvements, HSOT is designed to be flexible as every project requires a different approach.

Calculate outputs

The final outputs of our HSOT feed in to our fuel poverty statistics but a whole range of additional information is also collected.

  • Carbon, energy, fuel bills and EPC scores
  • Measures delivered and cost of delivery
  • ECO affordable warmth and carbon scores
  • Green Deal finance available
  • Potential FIT and RHI income


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