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The University of Southampton
Energy at Southampton Research

Energy and Society

How do we deliver Societal and Planetary Wellbeing?

Does an involvement in a community-based initiative have an impact on household energy use?
Initiatives for energy saving

Research in this area includes an exploration of who emits most CO2 emissions across UK households; the role of community-based initiatives in energy saving; how people can be supported to change their practices and lead low carbon lives and how third sector organisations can play a role in encouraging households to save more energy.

How do we address energy consumption to meet low carbon targets? How do we address infrastructure ‘lock in' to improve the carbon performance of the urban environment? How do we engender and embed low carbon pathways and engineering solutions for demand reduction and power generation in cities?

Liveable Cities is a joint five year £6m research programme between the Universities of Southampton, Birmingham (lead), UCL and Lancaster. It aims to transform "the engineering of cities to deliver global and societal wellbeing within the context of low carbon living and resource security through developing realistic and radical engineering that demonstrates the concept of an alternative future." This means assessing where cities are today, where we need to get to by 2050 in order to meet carbon reduction targets, how this might change under different scenarios and what might happen to people's wellbeing in the process. Southampton's role within the project is in four main areas. The first is to use existing datasets within a GIS framework, to develop tools for modelling present and future city emissions under different scenarios. The second is to test energy efficiency and low carbon solutions at the building and individual level, through real-time monitoring. The third will be to assess the impact of  city-level and building-level solutions on wellbeing and the fourth will address the related question of the extent to which policy makers and citizens find the solutions acceptable.

Intelligent Agents for Home Energy Management

Another way to tackle energy saving is to develop intelligent agents (and other machine learning techniques) within the smart grid in order to reduce energy use within domestic settings. This research focuses on the development of intelligent software agents that are able to 'learn' the thermal characteristics of the building in which they are deployed. They also 'learn' the day to- day behaviour and energy demands of the householders living in the buidling and then optimise the use of energy according to the householder's individual preferences regarding cost, comfort and carbon.

MyJoulo - helping you reduce your heating bill
Dr Nick Woodman - community based initiatives in energy saving
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