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Enhancing the designs and impacts of guides for achieving reduced energy-consumptions

By R. M. Mackay and S. D. Probert


Energy-consumption guides (ECGs), produced by the UK Government agencies ETSU and BRECSU under the DETR's Energy-Efficiency Best-Practice Programme, have been examined. The aim was to assess and, if possible, improve the methodologies used for the production of ECGs, and in particular to ensure (i) the conclusions are statistically valid; (ii) each presentation appeals to its appropriate target audience; and, in each instance, (iii) ease of information extraction is facilitated. In the course of the study, several ECGs were considered, together with their consultants' reports and the answers to pertinent survey questionnaires. The problems with these ECGs fell into three categories -- the use of inappropriate indicators and/or sample populations for energy benchmarking; errors in calculations presented in the guides; and mistakes, ambiguities and other weaknesses in the published text. These problems, although detected in relatively few ECGs, were due to inadequate quality-control and/or a lack of appropriate technical review of the documents before publication. The aim throughout this investigation was to develop a more coherent strategy in order for authors and editors, of future Guides, to present only the facts relevant to the needs of each intended category of user in a persuasive, clear and simple manner.

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