In 2011, 18 CDT students conducted research within three colleges, Hatfield, Josephine Butler and Trevelyan, to address questions arising out of both the Low Carbon Networks Fund project (LCNF) and the implementation of the university's newly completed Carbon Management Plan. LCNF, a large-scale multi-year project headed by CDT director Professor Phil Taylor, investigates how electricity networks will have to change to accommodate changing patterns of generation and consumer demand. The Carbon Management plan sets out a set of measures through which to achieve ambitious targets of a 30% reduction in carbon emissions across the university estate by 2013-14.
Following the advice of college bursars and other relevant staff, and members of the Greenspace office and Carbon Management Team, CDT students undertook a range of social and technical research with the following three aims:
1. Understand current patterns energy consumption (mapping loads and documenting usage, attitudes and behaviours of users);
2. Assess areas of flexibility in current patterns by advancing and testing proposals for changes in consumption habits;
3. Make concrete recommendations as to practical steps that can be taken within colleges, and priorities for further research either within the LCNF or to be taken up by the university/college.