BIG Energy Upgrade logoWelcome

Welcome to the University of Sheffield website of the BIG Energy Upgrade Programme. The University of Sheffield is proud to be part of this multi-partner regional project which is part-financed by the European Union European Regional Development Fund, as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme. The BEU Programme has the opportunity to contribute to the understanding of how houses can be made more effectively energy efficient, to contribute to the growth of the regional supply chain and the alleviation of fuel poverty in the region.

A multidisciplinary team of academics from the Faculties of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Engineering are monitoring the performance of installed energy efficiency measures; looking at behaviour of those living in the newly insulated houses and the overall response from the whole communities; monitoring energy consumption in selected households; supporting the supply chain associated with the energy efficiency measures; studying the material’s performance and assessing the environmental impact of the retrofit measures.

Professor Lenny Koh, Director of the Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (CEES) and Associate Dean at the University of Sheffield's Management School together with Steven Banwart, Professor of Environmental Engineering Science are leading this multidisciplinary team of academics which involves the close collaboration of 6 university’s Schools/departments:

BIG Energy Upgrade launch group photoThe project, which brings together the existing experience of academics in the fields of building fabric and design, energy monitoring technology, performance of materials, remote digital performance monitoring, behavioral studies and development of supply chains, is establishing a new model of interdisciplinary working.

This innovative project started in April 2010 and is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It was launched at the University by the former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Through the project the University is working with 6 Local Authorities, 6 ALMOs/social housing providers and YES, an energy advice company to make houses across the Yorkshire and Humber region more energy efficient and reduce their carbon emissions. This locally focused story is estimated to have reached more than 97,000 people and was covered in local papers as well as trade journals:

Yorkshire Post
The Sheffield Star
Click Green

The BEU project is led by Kirklees Council and it includes as well as the University of Sheffield the following partners:

Local Authorities
Barnsley Council
Doncaster Council
Kirklees Council
Leeds City Council
North East Lincolnshire Council
North Lincolnshire Council

Social Housing Providers
Berneslai Homes (ALMO)
Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (ALMO)
North Lincolnshire Homes (RSL)
Shoreline Housing Partnership Ltd (RSL)
St Leger Homes (ALMO)
West North West Homes Leeds (ALMO)

Energy Advice Company
Yorkshire Energy Services (CIC)


Latest News

March 2014 - The Big Energy Upgrade Celebration Event took place on Friday 21st March 2014 at Halifax Hall, Sheffield.

Key note speakers included the Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Rt. Hon. Caroline Flint MP, who praised the initiative and highlighted its impacts on the local economy.

She said: “I am delighted to attend the BIG Energy Upgrade Celebration event today. This project clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of a whole house/whole community approach to installing energy efficiency measures and the positive impact on residents and local employment in some of the most deprived areas of Yorkshire and the Humber.

Please click HERE to read the full press release.

February 2014 - The BIG Energy Upgrade Final Celebration Event is taking place on Friday 21st March 2014 at Halifax Hall Sheffield.

Our key note speaker is Rt. Hon. Caroline Flint MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, there will also be presentations from consortium partners about their experiences and learning being involved in this innovative ERDF programme.

To register, please click HERE to open the invite and click on the link to the Eventbrite website.
For further information about this event, please contact Marina Ciaraldi

December 2013: A CEES seminar by Dr Nick Eyre (Oxford University), is taking place on 16 December 2013 at 12noon in the ICOSS Boardroom

The seminar will focus on how Energy efficiency has been an important driver of the reduction in UK emissions of CO2 in recent decades and remains a key element of Government energy and climate policy. The ingredients of successful policy are understood, but there are major challenges to delivering long term goals. The Government’s new flagship energy efficiency policy for buildings, The Green Deal, has encountered well-publicised problems. These are analysed and some ways forward are discussed.

Dr Nick Eyre is Programme Leader of the Lower Carbon Futures group in the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, and a Jackson Senior Research Fellow at Oriel College, Oxford. He is a Co-Director of the UK Energy Research Centre, leading its work on energy demand. Nick previously worked at the Energy Saving Trust as Director of Strategy and, on secondment, in Cabinet Office, where he was a co-author of the Government’s 2002 Review of Energy Policy. Nick has worked on energy, environment and climate issues for 25 years. He has published extensively and is a lead author on the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC to be published in 2014.

There will be lunch at the end of the seminar. For more information please click HERE to view the flyer. To book a place please contact Katherine Powell by the 9 December 2013.

November 2013:  The Big Energy Upgrade Project features in the Sheffield Star.  To read the full article, entitled Making Homes Warmer Boosts Community Pride, please click HERE

June 2013: A team of academics from The University of Sheffield are holding a workshop event to disseminate preliminary findings from the BIG Energy Upgrade project.

The School of Architecture's Dr. Hasim Altan and Dr. Mohamed Refaee will share some preliminary results and discuss the implications of their indoor environmental monitoring of homes, whilst Dr. Danielle Densley Tingley (Civil and Structural Engineering) will speak on the environmental impact of external wall insulation materials. Meanwhile, Dr. Stuart Wrigley of the Computer Science department will share preliminary findings from his monitoring of gas and electricity use in residential properties.

The event will take place on the 4th June is open to all BIG Energy Upgrade partners

April 2013: Sheffield City Region have released their latest resource on Low Carbon and Renewables. The document is available to download here now.

February 2013: Implications and challenges surrounding the Governments energy-efficiency flagship programme the Green Deal have been raised by University of Sheffield researchers following an investigation into what low income communities in the Yorkshire and Humberside region think of the scheme.

Professor Lenny Koh, who led the project, said: "Green Deal is a strategic and important financial scheme to help people to keep their home warm and afford access to energy. Hence, Green Deal will improve quality of life of individuals."

The full press release is available here.

February 2013: BIG Energy Upgrade featured in the latest edition of Discover Magazine.

The BIG Energy Upgrade has been featured in the latest edition of the University of Sheffield publication "Discover".

The BIG Energy Upgrade sees the University working alongside local authorities, housing associations and energy providers to end fuel poverty in ten of the most deprived communities of Yorkshire and Humber. A report by researchers based in CEES has found that local authorities can significantly reduce their carbon emissions, secure best value for taxpayers, and use small and medium sized local companies to stimulate economic growth by embedding best practice in their procurement activities.

Read the article and find out more on pages 17 & 18 of the magazine here.

September 2012: Richard Mellish, Head of the Green Deal Programme at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) addressed the BIG Energy Upgrade Green Deal Value Chain event at The University of Sheffield on Tuesday 18 September 2012. The event celebrated the contribution of the BIG Energy Upgrade to the national Green Deal and looked at future implications for homes and businesses across the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Mellish joined policy makers, representatives from local authorities, green deal providers, academics from the University of Sheffield and a panel of the UK’s biggest energy providers to discuss how to maximise the benefits that the Green Deal could provide to the region.

The BIG Energy Upgrade: Procurement and supply chain report – Green Deal and Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Supply Chains Delivery - was launched at the Green Deal Value Chain event. A copy of that report and the programme for the day's event are now available to download (see Downloads box, right).


Big Energy Upgrade, part-financed by the EU.