Low-carbon building and climate change expert, Dr Rajat Gupta, has been awarded a major research grant of £1.14 million by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to lead an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Oxford Brookes University (OBU) and University of Oxford (OU) on a three-year research project worth £1.37 million.
The EVALOC project seeks to evaluate the impacts, effectiveness and success of DECC-funded low carbon communities on localised energy behaviours. The EVALOC grant is one of only seven awards made under the ESRC's £6 million Energy and communities collaborative venture, which attracted about 85 applications. Oxford Brookes is the lead research organisation on the EVALOC project, with the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) of University of Oxford as the partner institution. Dr Gupta is the Principal Investigator on the project and Dr Nick Eyre from ECI is the Co-Investigator. Six Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) funded low carbon communities across UK, including Low Carbon West Oxford are key partners in the project, along with DECC, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and the Energy Saving Trust (EST). In addition, selected international experts from USA, Sweden, Austria and Germany will contribute to specific aspects of the research design. Also two new full-time three-year Research Fellow posts have been created as a result of the grant.
Dr Rajat Gupta, the Principal Investigator from Oxford Brookes, said: "We are delighted to win this award. Given the current drivers of big society and localism, it is essential and timely to examine the role and impact of community-led initiatives in meeting UK carbon targets. The socio-technical, integrative and collaborative approach of the EVALOC project is a significant contribution in this area."
"This project will also expand our research and expertise on carbon counting to low-carbon communities. Sophisticated and tested versions of the DECoRuM model will be developed to provide real-time disaggregated feedback on energy consumption and reduction both on a household and community level and investigate the consequent effect on inhabitants' habits, behaviour and practice".
This news item was initially published under the same title by the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) at Oxford Brookes University on 22 November 2010. The original article is available here.