Researcher wins prize for research on domestic gas central heating energy use

Categories: School of Science, Engineering and Environment

With the help of industry leading facilities at Salford, a paper written by a University researcher has won an international award.

Bill George, who recently completed his paper ‘Intermittent vs Constant Gas Central Heating Usage’ has been awarded the International Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society (SEEDS) Conference Award 2023 in the category for Energy Behaviour and Behaviour Change.

His findings come from research carried out in the University’s Energy House Labs facilities, the world-leading unique testing grounds for energy efficiency in our homes. The paper compared two gas central heating profiles in a solid wall end-terrace: Intermittent and Constant. Of the 24.5 million UK homes, 74% use a gas central heating system.

Bill’s research looked at comparing a gas central heating system running constantly over a full 24-hour period against running intermittently at two hours in the morning and seven hours in the evening. The research found that despite being on for 15 hours longer, the constant heating profile only used an extra 31% gas, which is important in understanding gas usage isn’t strictly related to how long it’s used for.

Bill said: “Going to this conference was a great experience for me and winning this award is something I want to build on.

“It was a complete shock to win. It was a real team achievement; I got a lot of help from a lot of people on it. This paper is hopefully a springboard into more research.”

David Farmer, Energy House Research Fellow and Bill’s supervisor, said: “The Energy House 1 team are really proud of what Bill has achieved in the short time that he has been with us. Although his findings cannot be applied to all homes, they provide a valuable first step in helping householders to select the optimum heating pattern to suit their lifestyle and health requirements.”

Bill’s work builds on previous work at Energy House 1 that has provided consumers with simple and low-cost advice to reduce their heating bills and environmental impact, such as reducing boiler flow temperature and the impact of blinds and curtains.

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