Two of the CSIRO Energy Rating team, Melissa James and Michael Ambrose won the Best Paper Award at the International High-Performance Built Environments Conference, held in Sydney in November 2016. Their paper “Retrofit or behaviour change? Which has the greater impact on energy consumption in low income households?” presented the results of a randomised control trial that compared changes in energy consumption in 320 low income Victorian households which underwent different combinations of retrofit and behaviour change interventions. The results showed that households which underwent retrofit only interventions reduced total energy consumption by 7.1% and were 1°C warmer in winter; households which underwent a combination of retrofit and behaviour change interventions reduced gas consumption by 18.6% and total energy consumption by 11.4%; households which underwent behaviour change only interventions did not show a noticeable improvement.
The paper has been published in Procedia Engineering and is available here. Melissa was invited to present the paper again at the World Sustainable Built Environment conference in Hong Kong in June 2017.