Cambridge Non-Domestic Model

The Cambridge Non-Domestic Model allows you to explore the effect of upgrading different numbers of buildings on energy use and carbon dioxide. Non-domestic buildings have long been neglected in energy modelling in favour of housing – partly because the diversity of non-domestic buildings makes them harder to model, and partly because there is much less reliable data available describing non-domestic buildings.

However, non-domestic buildings currently account for around a tenth of total carbon emissions. Part of these emissions come from so-called ‘regulated’ energy uses (like heating, lighting and air conditioning), while the rest comes from ‘unregulated’ energy uses (like catering, lifts, computers and other appliances).

Our model addresses both. It also includes the effect of new buildings being added to the stock, and old buildings being demolished. It suggests that – if we pulled out all the stops and worked really hard on non-domestic buildings – the UK could save 45 TWh of energy by insulating all of these buildings by 2022, or just under 25% of energy use in this sector. Or, if we both insulate all these buildings and upgrade their lighting to modern, energy efficient lights, we could save 72 TWh (38%).

The model allows you to change assumptions about the carbon intensity of electricity over time, and demolitions and new building. It also shows the regional impact of different upgrade paths, year-by-year to 2022.

You can read our report on the model below.

And download a working version of the model (a 30Mb file) here.