A Domestic Operational Rating for UK homes:Concept, Formulation and Application

Kevin Lomas, Arash Beizaee, David Allinson, Victoria Haines , Jacqueline Beckhelling, Dennis Loveday, Stephen Porritt, Becky Mallaband, Ashley Morton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A Domestic Operational Rating (DOR) scheme is presented for assessing the energy performance of occupied dwellings. The DOR is complementary to the method used to generate the asset rating of UK dwellings: the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). The DOR is transparent, easy to calculate, based on readily available information, producible from daily smart meter data, calculable for any period on a rolling year basis and applicable across all UK homes.

The DOR method was developed using a new primary data set collected from 114 homes as part of the DEFACTO project. All were semi-detached, gas centrally heated, privately owned and internet connected properties, located in the English Midlands. The mean daily energy demands are analysed alongside information gathered through an energy survey and household questionnaires. These data are presented and analysed for the first time in this paper.

The DOR method, which is described in full, generates metrics that indicate the absolute and relative energy demands, greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs of homes. The DOR ratings for the D114 homes were stable from year to year. Comparing the DOR with homes’ asset (SAP) ratings, indicates that the SAP rating poorly reflects the inter-home variation of households’ actual energy demand. For the D114 homes, it was possible produce a reduced data Domestic Operational Rating, rdDOR, using the energy demands measured on only a few cold days.

Although developed in the UK context, the DOR is generally applicable to national, regional or local housing stocks in which daily energy demand is metered. Potential improvements to the DOR, and the need for trials using smart meter data from diverse homes and locations, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-117
Number of pages28
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Early online date12 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

©2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license.(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Funding: The work was part of the Digital Economy and Energy Programme of Research Councils UK and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC grant EP/K00249X/1)


  • Domestic buildings
  • Energy costs
  • Energy demand
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Operational rating
  • Smart meter data


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