Let’s Make it Personal

04 March 2021 - Published by Deirdre Buist
How effective are the energy-saving measures taken by homeowners and how do we calculate the results? A recent post by Amar Bennadji of the Robert Gordon University on a social media platform revealed his curiosity as to what his personal investments in energy retrofitting, over the past decade or so, have actually delivered. And what more can he do? Since Stronghouse has a focus on the customer journey and end-user stories, we’re interested to hear more about our partner’s experience. It’s time to get personal.


Dr Amar Bennadji is an experienced and widely published researcher in the areas of environment design, energy consumption control and building performance and visualization. His academic work has been acknowledged and awarded many times, both nationally and internationally. Old and historic buildings have his particular focus. His expertise and energetic enthusiasm are highly valued within Stronghouse consortium.



Amar Bennadji aims for maximum domestic energy efficiency

So far so good

In his post Dr Bennadji, asked for tips on how to get to Net-Zero in his own home. Thirteen years ago he replaced his gas boiler for a more efficient one but didn't monitor the improvement. Nine years ago he installed solar panels, saving 30% of household CO2 emissions. Amar: “With extra retrofitting measures (e.g. cavity and roof insulation) we achieved a 55% reduction. Then we updated our white goods, divided the house into six heating zones and reduced the average temperature by 1 C which helped us reach a cut of 63%.  Now taking into account the previously  replaced  gas boiler,  the estimated carbon savings are around  70%. We’re not ready for the major disturbance of installing a heat pump so still have two tonnes of gas heating to go, if we are to meet the Net-Zero challenge.”

Live topic

The hefty response to his request for more tips and the number of detailed comments – not all positive- indicates that this is a ‘live’ topic for many. It also revealed that it is not always easy to find the way in this energy transition and the direction can be unclear.

We’ve distilled some of the comments that highlighted the online discussion:

  • Financing (despite various national energy loan schemes) is a major challenge to wide-scale take-up of energy efficiency measures.

  • Both the building and personal funding possibilities pose limitations.

  • National financing systems’ insistence on a specific accreditation for installers (e.g. Green Deal Certified) can be confusing - there are several recognized alternatives.

  • Exchanging experiences and potential solutions (online) can motivate others and stimulate behavioural change.

  • There are some strong doubts regarding the attainability of European energy goals over the coming decades, with perceived pressure on the general public and those less fortunate/ living in poorer regions.

  • Goals need to be clarified (off grid, Net-Zero) and a balance found between operational v embodied carbon.


Stronghouse aims to guide homeowners in the right direction by, amongst other things, designing accessible financing instruments and using an end-user/neighbourhood approach to connect citizens with local installation businesses in a one-stop-shop concept. Together with Amar Benadji, this partnership believes that every step towards energy efficiency and C02 reduction is one in the right direction.