About us

The Big Energy Upgrade is a regional flagship project addressing the priority needs of both reduction in carbon emissions and the creation of jobs.


To address the issues thgough an integrated approach, the University of Sheffield has brought together a multidisciplinary team of academics working alongside Local Authorities, ALMOs, social housing providers and an energy services company.

The Big Energy Upgrade is delivered by a consortium of local authorities and social housing providers, led by Kirklees Council. This is a very ambitious project; for the first time in the UK the Partners will work together in adopting a fully integrated, whole-house approach while installing energy efficiency measures and micro generation technologies in households.

Through individual household assessments, the project will identify a highly individual package of measures for each of the households which will provide optimal insulation and energy control to the house.

The University plays a key role in the project by providing a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding and optimising the interrelated technological, behavioural and economic factors.

A team of academics:

  • monitor the performance of the installed energy efficiency measures
  • study the material’s lifecycle
  • look at behaviour of those living in the newly insulated houses as well as at the communities interested by the intervention
  • monitor energy consumption in selected households
  • support the supply chain associated with the energy efficiency measures, particularly the one associated with the external solid wall insulation

The project addresses key national priorities of:

  • reducing CO2 emissions from the installed base of residential dwellings, required to meet national CO2 reduction
  • alleviating fuel-poverty
  • driving regional economic growth in this expanding field

The project, to retrofit energy-efficiency and renewable-energy measured to residential dwellings, is the largest such venture in the UK.

Working with communities

The BEU project will target deprived communities in Yorkshire and the Humber. It aims at tackling fuel poverty and at the same time to stimulate business development and create job opportunities for those living in the targeted communities.

Ten disadvantaged communities across Yorkshire and the Humber will be targeted by the scheme, these are as follows:

  • Golcar (Kirklees)
  • Chickenley (Kirklees)
  • Eightlands, Dewsbury (Kirklees)
  • Athersley (Barnsley)
  • Wheatley (2 areas of Wheatley) (Doncaster)
  • Lower Wortley (Leeds)
  • Frodingham (North Lincs)
  • East Marsh & Guildford (North East Lincs)


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

Local Authorities

Social Housing Providers

Energy Advice Company

A global reputation

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.