Volume 45: Energy Transitions toward Carbon Neutrality: Part VIII

Energy Dependant Behaviour and Thermal Comfort: Home and Office Based Workspaces Ibrahim Halil Ozdemir, Sally Shahzad



How does paying energy bills impact occupants’ comfort regarding the thermal environment? Are they more comfortable, when all energy bills are paid for them, as compared to when they are responsible for their energy bills? 40% of the energy use is spent for space heating and cooling. The recent energy crisis and the increase of the energy bills significantly impacted the affordability of space heating. Also, post COVID-19, working from home became part of the working arrangements for many people, which also signifies the impact of heating affordability. This work investigates the impact of paying energy bills on the behaviour and thermal comfort of occupants. Three work settings were explored, including office settings and two home environments, one with all bills included in the rent and one, in which the occupants paid their own energy bills. Only in the latter, participants paid the energy bills. Field test studies of thermal comfort were applied in the UK in the winter of 2021. 57 participants responded to thermal comfort surveys three times a day during five days, while the environmental measurements were recorded. Additionally, ethnographic behavioural video recordings were applied using a thermal camera to capture environmental and personal adjustments, as well as surface temperatures of the surroundings, while occupants were working. Overall, 601 datasets were included in this work. The results did not suggest any significant differences in the comfort of the occupants in the three environments. However, significant differences were found between the energy uses of the three environments. The home, in which all bills were included in the rent used 9.2 times more energy, as compared to the home environment, where the occupants were responsible for paying their own energy bills, and 2.4 times more energy use, as compared to the office settings.

Keywords energy, adaptive behaviour, thermal comfort, office, home, workspace

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