Intermediation and policy development in UK low energy housing

A new article by CIED researchers Dr Paula Kivimaa and Dr Mari Martiskainen explores the interaction between the UK’s low energy housing policy and intermediation from the 1970s until today. The article makes the following observations:

  • When UK government policy was weak or market-based, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s, non-state intermediary actors (such as charities, social enterprises and membership organisations) were more likely to be established to advance low energy housing initiatives and lobby for new policy
  • When low energy homes policy has been active, state-affiliated intermediaries, such as the Energy Saving Trust and the Zero Carbon Hub, were set up to aid in policy design and implementation
  • Existing organisations, including Building Research Establishment and Technology Strategy Broad, adopted intermediary roles in response to policy
  • Over time, some intermediaries have also ceased to exist or changed roles, often due to changes in policy. In addition, the influence of frontrunner social housing providers, as intermediaries for the diffusion of low energy housing technologies, has reduced.

The article draws on 29 interviews conducted during 2014-2018, as well as on academic and grey literature to build a description of the emerging UK low-energy homes sector and related policy development during 1970-2016.

Read the full paper.

Find out more about our project on ‘Low Energy Housing Innovations and the role of Intermediaries’.