Predictive Analytics of Energy Efficiency in Residential buildings and Health Vulnerabilities of Elderly People

  • Ali Mohamed Abdi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Cold weather causes thousands of Excess Winter Deaths (EWDs) annually in the UK. Yet, a common contributor to EWDs remains poor energy efficiency in residential buildings and high costs of heating homes which exacerbate risks of respiratory, circulatory, fuel poverty and mental health problems. Evidence shows that vulnerable groups in households, such as elderly people and children, are most at risk of health detriments associated with cold homes. In the 2020 to 2021 winter period, there were
an estimated 63,000 Excess winter deaths (EWDs) in the UK. Despite energy efficiency policies and schemes, 3.2 million households in England alone live-in fuel poverty. The housing survey data of England reveal that almost 6.3% of private
housing is still rated with Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) F or G (where G is the worst performing on a scale of A-G).

Thus, this study predicted the inter-relationship between energy efficiency in residential buildings and the health vulnerabilities of elderly people in the UK. The study adopted mixed research methods of sequential explanatory design. Archive data, Quantitative and qualitative data were employed for a better understanding of the research problem. Archive data were obtained from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and consisted of EWDs from 1950 to 2019. The quantitative method used a
questionnaire survey where 246 participants from the Midland region of the UK took part. The qualitative used semi-structured interviews, and 18 participants were interviewed. The Midland region of the UK was chosen due to its high reported cases
of EWDs in 2017/18 and where an increased number of low-income households live. The survey participants comprised elderly people, carer and support workers, health professionals, energy professionals and building professionals.

Questionnaire results from the survey participants showed that 71% agree relationship exists between EWDs and cold homes occupied by elderly people. Similarly, the interview results reported several factors such as cold housing, fuel poverty,
technology, adaptive behaviour, and energy policies to be the main issues determining energy efficiency in residential buildings and health risks of elderly people.

Predictive models result using regression analysis showed that in the next 20 years, EWDs will be decreasing, and other parameters such as household/pensioner income, fuel cost and temperature to be increasing. The multivariate analysis showed that increasing fuel cost contributes to an increase in EWDs, and an increase in both average temperature and pensioners' income decreases EWDs. The study's future outcome and best scenario reports declining EWDs, high income, reduced fuel poverty
and no global warming. However, to experience the best future outcome, government, health, energy and building bodies need to take drastic policies and actions to addressenergy efficiency in residential buildings, fuel poverty, climate change impact and
public health inequalities.
Date of Award2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Coventry University
SupervisorAbdussalam Shibani (Supervisor), Abdullahi Ahmed (Supervisor) & Andrew Arewa (Supervisor)

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