Dr Stephen Watson

MEng MRes PhD

  • Lecturer in Building Energy

Research and expertise

Analysis of monitored building energy demand and empirical modelling of energy demand.

I have analysed monitored building energy demand to determine savings resulting from various technologies and the factors affecting these savings. I have also analysed heating patterns and the factors affecting these. I have modelling national GB domestic heat demand and heat pump electricity demand based on monitored data from field trials. I have developed a new approach to modelling domestic energy demand based on monitored data.

Current research activity

  • Working on paper based on the Active Buildings project
  • Analysis of compact hybrid heat pumps based on monitored boiler data.

Recently completed research projects

  • Analysis of EFUS temperature data in terms of overheating and “safe havens”
  • Analysis of gas savings from zonal heating controls
  • Working as Research Associate on the Active Buildings project
  • PhD on empirical modelling of additional electricity demand from domestic heat pumps.

Recent publications

  • Drury, P, Watson, S, Lomas, K (2021) Summertime overheating in UK homes: is there a safe haven?, Buildings and Cities, 2(1), pp.970-990, DOI: 10.5334/bc.152.
  • Lomas, K, Allinson, D, Watson, S, Beizaee, A, Haines, V, Li, M (2021) Energy savings from domestic zonal heating controls: Robust evidence from a controlled field trial, Energy and Buildings, 254, 111572, ISSN: 0378-7788. DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2021.111572.
  • Bennett, G, Watson, S, Wilson, G, Oreszczyn, T (2021) Domestic heating with compact combination hybrids (gas boiler and heat pump): A simple English stock model of different heating system scenarios, Building Services Engineering Research and Technology, ISSN: 0143-6244. DOI: 10.1177/01436244211040449.
  • Lomas, K, Watson, S, Allinson, D, Fateh, A, Beaumont, A, Allen, J, Foster, H, Garrett, H (2021) Dwelling and household characteristics' influence on reported and measured summertime overheating: a glimpse of a mild climate in the 2050's, Building and Environment, 201, 107986, ISSN: 0360-1323. DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.107986.
  • Watson, S, Lomas, K, Buswell, R (2021) How will heat pumps alter national half-hourly heat demands? Empirical modelling based on GB field trials, Energy and Buildings, 238, 110777, ISSN: 0378-7788. DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2021.110777.
  • Watson, S.D. et al, 2019. Decarbonising domestic heating: What is the peak GB demand? Energy Policy, 126, pp. 533-544. Available at:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2018.11.001
  • Love, J. et al., 2017. The addition of heat pump electricity load profiles to GB electricity demand: Evidence from a heat pump field trial. Applied Energy, 204, pp.332–342. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.07.026.


I contribute to learning and teaching activities:


  • Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer for Architectural Engineering Programme


  • Low Energy Building Design Module


Recently completed projects

  • Overheating analysis: UK National Energy Follow Up Study (BEIS), BRE


Before becoming a lecturer, I worked for two and a half years as a Research Associate in the Building Energy Research Group at Loughborough. During this time I developed a new approach to modelling domestic energy demand based on monitored data, applicable to individual dwellings and groups of dwellings.

This work was carried out through the Active Building Centre. I also analysed ERUS internal temperature data to assess overheating and the existence of “safe havens”, assessed energy savings from zonal heating controls based on DEFACTO field trial data, and developed models of compact hybrid heat pumps based on monitored boiler data.

In my PhD I estimated the current half-hourly GB domestic heat demand by creating a model based on half-hourly monitored gas demand from a sample of over 5000 homes. I then predicted future GB domestic heat pump electricity demand, based on the model of existing heat demand and monitored data from around 700 homes with heat pumps.

During the PhD I took a short pause and worked for Loughborough University analysing gas and temperature data from a field trial of zonal heating controls (known as DEFACTO) to investigate the effect of such controls on gas demand and internal temperatures.

In my MRes course on energy demand (at Loughborough University) I developed a model of surface temperatures on artificial sports pitches to predict overheating and verified this using monitored data.

Previously I did a Master of Engineering at Durham University, including a final year project on heat recovery from domestic greywater.  The third year of this was studied at Technische Universität Berlin. 

External activities

  • Sharing key results from PhD research with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and with EDF Energy.

Key collaborators

My research and enterprise activities are conducted with a range of academic and stakeholder partners, including:

  • EDF Energy
  • Active Buildings Centre
  • BEIS
  • BRE