Picturing the invisible – what is the impact of thermal imaging on householder intentions to install thermal efficiency measures?
Charlie Morris-Marsham, UCL
Domestic space and water heating are the second biggest end use of energy in the UK, after road travel
Thermal efficiency measures such as wall insulation can reduce space heating demand by up to 40%, delivering important economic, health, energy security and environmental benefits.
However uptake of these measures often falls behind political aspirations, for example the recent low uptake of the Green Deal. Explanations of the ‘inertia’ towards installing energy efficiency measures have often focused on economic barriers however the recent research suggests that psychological biases may contribute to inertia towards energy efficiency measures.
“Recent research suggests that psychological biases may contribute to inertia towards energy efficiency measures”
This study takes a psychological approach based on the premise that heat loss is largely invisible and therefore easily ignored by humans who have evolved to react to salient, changing stimuli.
Thermal imaging shows infrared radiation emitted by building surfaces and therefore can produce ‘proxy images’ of heat loss.
This study aims to understand whether enabling householders to visualise heat loss through thermal images increases intentions to install themal efficiency measures.
It uses the Theory of Planned Behaviour as a framework and applies novel methods such as experimental design (including control group, random assignment and pre and post tests) to a behavioural context. Findings will be framed within the context of UK government initiatives such as ECO and the Green Deal.
Poster for LoLo Annual Colloquium (2013)
Poster for LoLo Annual Colloquium
Research proposal outline
LoLo Colloquium 2013: Charlie Morris Marsham (UCL-Energy)
5 minute presentation
Seminar describing the background (barriers to energy efficiency and thermal imaging), methodology and methods of the study.
Slides of LoLo Colloquium 2013 presentation
Pecha Kucha Presentation for LoLo Annual Colloquium
Report (progress/mini project/consultation reports)
This report section describes the method used in this research. It may be of interest to those looking to use thermal images to increase uptake of thermal efficiency measures (please credit authors)