Retrofitting social housing: Reflections by tenants on adopting and living with retrofit technology

Philip Brown, Will Swan, Sharon Chahal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Retrofit has been described as one of the major engineering challenges of the twenty-first century (Kelly 2009). However, the industry needs to look beyond regarding the problem as restricted to the physical upgrade of properties. Asset managers, engineers and installers work on and in people's homes and, in many cases, are subsequently changing the way householders use their homes to meet their comfort and wider energy needs. Here we consider how the twin issues of adopting and living with retrofit technologies have affected groups of residents in social housing. We discuss issues of trust, social norms, engagement and concern that have shaped the adoption process, as well as investigating the everyday experience of living with new configurations of energy consumption. The findings have relevance not only for the social housing sector but also raise questions as to how to effectively deliver programmes such as the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation within the UK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-653
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy Efficiency
Issue number4
Early online date10 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


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