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UK Housing Stock Models Using SAP: The Case for Heating Regime Change

Cutting energy use in housing will play a key role in the UK’s efforts to reduce climate change emissions in line with international commitments. Much UK Government policy is based on modelling present and future emissions using assumptions from SAP, the Standard Assessment Procedure. This paper compares SAP-based modelling against measured gas consumption in 405 dwellings that were monitored in the Energy Follow-Up Survey, an extension of the English Housing Survey. The combined EFUS/EHS provides comprehensive information about space heating energy use for a sample of dwellings: detailed physical data, user behaviour, and measured energy use. Very poor model versus measurement agreement is observed at the individual dwelling level – the average difference is 45%. Much better agreement is observed when applying typical EFUS regimes of 20°C mean demand temperature, 10 hours of heating a day for weekdays and weekends, and a heating season of six months, and comparing average results. Comparisons for the 405 dwellings and an EFUS subset of 1,191 dwellings are both in agreement to within 2%, whilst average 2010 and 2011 sub-national estimates are in agreement to 3% of DUKES figures. The authors recommend changing SAP heating regimes to a mean demand temperature of 20°C, 10 hours of heating a day for weekdays and weekends, and a heating season of six months.

Household Energy, Energy Model, Cambridge Housing Model, SAP, Green Deal, Energy Follow-up Survey

Martin Hughes, Peter Pope, Jason Palmer, Peter Armitage. (2016). UK Housing Stock Models Using SAP: The Case for Heating Regime Change. Science Journal of Energy Engineering, 4(2), 12-22.

Copyright © 2016 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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