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Thermal Retrofits: Estimating Rebound Effects in Non-Residential Public Service Buildings

A large number of Federal properties are to be comprehensively thermally retrofitted in the not too distant future, within the scope of the government’s ‘retrofit road map’. Against this background an important question is whether space heating rebound effects can be expected in thermal retrofits of non-residential buildings, and if so what their causes are and how they could be reduced. These questions are addressed in the research project, which was commissioned and sponsored by the BBSR. In contrast to research on residential buildings, there is currently little if any existing research on rebound effects in non-residential buildings, and therefore this pilot study has broken new ground. A method for determining the rebound effect and its possible causes has been developed, and this has been tested in an investigation of four case study buildings. This has been complemented with an analysis of datasets of energy consumption figures in further non-residential buildings, so as to contextualise the findings of the four case studies.