LUKES – Longitudinal UK Energy Survey

LUKES – Longitudinal UK Energy Survey
28th November 2016 Alison Parker

LUKES, the Longitudinal UK Energy Survey, is a feasibility study and proposal for a major new survey to understand energy demand in the National domestic building stock


The Centre for Energy Epidemiology (CEE) together with the UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (UCL STEaPP) and the National Centre for Social Research have undertaken a series of studies supported by the UK government Department of Energy and Climate Change on the feasibility of a large-scale UK longitudinal panel of energy use in homes. In carrying out this work, CEE and partners are helping DECC fulfil one commitment from the recently published Developing DECC’s Evidence Base. The study, ran from January 2014 to June 2015 with the aim to advise HM Government and the Research Councils UK on whether a large scale panel following homes year on year is a cost effective investment. The study assessed the case for such a panel – tagged the ‘Longitudinal UK Energy Survey (LUKES)’ – as well as the design and methods needed to execute it in the context of energy. A unique feature of the study was the consideration of how social elements could be combined with technical elements to understand energy use in a nationally-representative study. Linked to this was one of the Working with EUED Centers proposals entitled: ‘Data-Driven Methods for a New National Household Energy Survey’ (EP/M008223/1) which is developing a new methodology for surveying household energy use nationally, to complement existing methods (e.g., the English Housing Survey and regional equivalents), which leverages the rollout of Smart Meters to achieve cost-effective, detailed understanding of energy use behaviours.

Key findings

  • The UK needs a longitudinal survey of a representative sample of homes in order to follow the process and progress of rapid decarbonisation mandated in the carbon budgets.
  • The estimated cost of the survey is approximately £5-7M per year or £28M over 5 years
  • An hierarchical structure gathering different amounts of data on different numbers of homes at three levels is efficient, allowing models to be constructed that leverage the data gathered on smaller numbers of more intensively monitored homes, to add value to the less intensively monitored larger numbers of homes.
  • A specifically socio-technical perspective is need to inform the research design and choice of data types gathered and methods used if energy demand in occupied buildings (homes) is to be understood at the national scale.
  • A sample size of around 10,000 is needed to address questions at National scales (England, Scotland & Wales) and across key sociodemographic groups.

Impact, Influence & Outreach

The reports done, both for the initial LUKES study, and the subsequent reports commissioned by DECC, have established the case for specifically longitudinal study energy demand. The reports were widely presented to, and circulated within government, and have subsequently informed thinking on the reshaping of the English Housing Survey.

The report was presented to the Low Carbon Innovation and Coordination Group (the LCICG), which is the key cross-funding body group overseeing expenditure on energy research in the UK.


LUKES initial feasibility study<br>:

  • Executive Summary
  • Synthesis Report
  • Annex A – Benefits Case
  • Annex A – Appendix A – UK Government funded surveys by Dept
  • Annex B – Available Data
  • Annex C – Methods and Design
  • Annex D – Ethics
  • Annex E – Governance
  • Annex F – Pragmatics and Piloting
  • Annex F – Appendix B – Timeline calculator
  • Annex G – Non-Domestic buildings

Additional reports commissioned by DECC to build further on this work include: