skip to primary navigationskip to content

MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Anna Tompsett

Barriers to Energy Efficiency in the UK New-Build Housing Industry

This paper sets out to understand the barriers to energy efficiency in the UK new-build housing industry by applying the ‘taxonomy of barriers’ developed by Sorrell et al (2000;2004), which provides a framework for understanding why cost-effective energy efficiency measures are not taken up.  It discusses the applicability of the methodology to supply chain-based industries, where key decision-making actors are not the final users of energy.  It concludes that the methodology is applicable, with some caveats, and provides some useful conclusions for policy-makers, provided that it is incorporated into a dynamic analysis of the problem space.  However, the paper also warns of the danger of the automatic assumption that available solutions are privately cost-effective, which can distract policy-makers from considering the more difficult possibility that meeting carbon emission goals will come at a net cost, and how this will be shared.