CRESR
CRESR

Professor Aimee Ambrose

Job title: 
Professor of Energy Policy, BA (Hons), MSc, PhD

Phone 0114 225 4665
E-mail a.ambrose@shu.ac.uk

I am a Professor of Energy Policy in CRESR where I have worked for the last ten years. Since June 2019 I have also acted as Chief Academic Advisor to the International Energy Agency in relation to research into hard to reach energy users. I am also currently a visiting researcher at the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University in Sweden. My research is primarily concerned with the key societal challenges of reducing domestic energy consumption and the carbon emissions associated with housing. It comprises of three main facets:

  • Understanding user experiences of purpose built low energy homes with a view to improving their performance when occupied- I conduct qualitative research in this area, providing answers to hitherto unanswered questions raised by previous quantitative and technical studies.
  • The study of fuel poverty including lived experiences of the phenomenon and the efficacy of policies intended to alleviate it- I have led numerous high profile (national and local) evaluations of fuel poverty policy initiatives and have, in this sense, exerted considerable impact on policy in this area. I am also amongst the first academics to conduct detailed qualitative research into, inter alia, drivers of fuel poverty within the private rented sector- a pressing international policy concern. I have explored this issue (and published my research) in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.
  • Developing pioneering qualitative research methodologies to provide new and deeper insights into these areas of research. For example, using visual methods to study low energy housing and have broken new ground by applying research techniques allied to oral history to the study of fuel poverty. This latter approach has revealed new insights into how our attitudes and practices in relation to home heating are embedded in the past.

I have directed more than 20 research projects and evaluations relating to various energy policies and interventions including evaluations for the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. I have also published 15 peer reviewed papers in high quality academic journals and over 30 research reports across my areas of expertise. In 2015 I undertook a visiting fellowship at the University of Otago in New Zealand where I conducted research into private landlords’ attitudes towards energy efficiency- this programme of research remains ongoing and has now extended into Australia through new partnerships with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and the University of South Australia.

I am also a founding member and Chair of the Fuel Poverty Research Network- an international network with around 200 members that brings together the producers and users of fuel poverty research and intelligence from across academia, policy and practice.

Research interests

  • domestic energy efficiency;
  • energy invisibility;
  • citizen engagement with energy policy;
  • user experiences of environmentally sustainable housing;
  • lived experiences of fuel poverty and policy responses;
  • non-traditional qualitative research methods;
  • district energy and heating;
  • energy inefficiency in private rented sector housing.

Current research projects

2018-2020 The International Energy Agency Technology Collaboration Programme Annex on Hard to Reach Energy Users. Role: Chief Academic Advisor.

2019-2021 Walking with energy: using participative research methods to overcome energy invisibility in Sweden and the UK. The Swedish Energy Agency. Project Director.

2020 Research into the early lessons emerging from the Innovative Housing Programme, Welsh Government. Role: Project Director.

2016 Research in affordability initiatives for the Consumer Council for Water. Role: Project Director.

2016-2018 Reaching the hardest to reach: engaging vulnerable and hard to reach groups in energy advice and support. Role: Project Director.  

2015 Research into tenancy failure amongst social housing tenants aged under 35, Hyde Housing Group and partners. Role: Research Manager.

2015-2017 Evaluation of the Wigan Deal for Warmth programme. Wigan Council. Role: Project Director.

2015-2016 Energy efficiency in the private rented sector: what tenants really think. Eaga Charitable Trust. Role: Project Director.

2014 Evaluation of the Big Energy Saving Network, Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Role: Project Director.

2013-14 Process evaluation of the Low Carbon Pioneer Cities Heat Networks Project, Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Role: Project Director.

2013 Landmark Art and Community Resilience. Role: Project Director.

2012-13 User perspectives in low energy housing, The Economic and Social Research Council. Role: Project Director.

2012-13 Preparing for the Green Deal, Rotherham MBC. Role: Member of research team.

2012-14 Research into the Impact of the Economic Downturn and the Rebalancing of Northern Ireland's Economy on its Neighbourhoods, Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

2012-14 Monitoring of the direct payments in the social rented demonstration projects, Department for Work and Pensions.

2011-14 Monitoring and evaluating the impacts of the emergency budget and spending review measures for housing benefit, Department of Work and Pensions.

2011-12 Research into the effectiveness of the EDF Energy Trust grant funding programme, Charis Grants.

Selected research reports

Ambrose, A., Archer, T. and Bimpson, E. (2020) Research to identify early lessons emerging from the Innovative Housing Programme. Welsh Government.

Ambrose, A., Archer, T. and Bimpson, E. (2020) Research to identify early lessons emerging from the Innovative Housing Programme: Summary. Welsh Government.

Ashby, K., Smith, J., Rotmann, S., Mundaca, L. and Ambrose, A. (2020) HTR Characterisation: Hard-to-Reach Energy Users Annex. Hard-to-Reach Energy Users.

Ambrose, A., Baker, W., Batty, E. and Hawkins, A. (2019) Reaching the 'Hardest to Reach' with energy advice: final report - Executive Summary. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Ambrose, A., Baker, W., Batty, E. and Hawkins, A. (2019) Reaching the 'Hardest to Reach' with energy advice: final report. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Ambrose, A., Bashir, N., Foden, M., Gilbertson, J., Green, G. and Stafford, B. (2018) Better Housing, Better Health in London Lambeth. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Ambrose, A., McCarthy, L. and Pinder, J. (2017) Energy (in) efficiency: what tenants expect and endure in private rented housing - Research Summary. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Ambrose, A., McCarthy, L. and Pinder, J. (2017) Energy (in)efficiency: what tenants expect and endure in private rented housing. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Ambrose, A., Batty, E., Eadson, W., Hickman, P. and Quinn, G. (2016) Assessment of the need for furniture provision for new NIHE tenants. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Ambrose, A., Damm, C., Foden, M., Gilbertson, J. and Pinder, J. (2016) Delivering Affordability Assistance to water customers: cross sector lessons. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

McCarthy, L., Ambrose, A., and Pinder, J. (2016) Energy (In)Efficiency: Exploring what tenants expect and endure in the private rented sector in England. Kendal: Eaga Charitable Trust.

Ambrose, A., Eadson, W., Hickman, P. and McCarthy, L. (2015) Tenancy sustainment amongst those aged under 35. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Ambrose, A., Eadson, W., Hickman, P. and McCarthy, L. (2015) Tenancy sustainment amongst those aged under 35: executive summary. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Ambrose, A., Eadson, W. and Pinder, J. (2015) Evaluation of the Big Energy Saving Network. London: DECC.

Ambrose, A., Eadson, W. and Pinder, J. with Gilbertson, J. and O'Flaherty, F. (2015) Low Carbon Pioneer Cities Heat Networks Project: a process evaluation. London: DECC.

Dayson, C., Hickman, P., Ambrose, A., Batty, E., Bennett, E. and Muir, J. (2015) Understanding the economic contribution of the social economy at a neighbourhood level: Final Report. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Hickman, P., Batty, E., Dayson, C., Flint, J., Foden, M., Muir, J., Ambrose, A. and Green, S. (2015) 'Getting-by', Coping and Resilience in Difficult Times: Final Report. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Hickman, P., Dayson, C., Ambrose, A., Batty, E., Bennett, E., Flint, J., Foden, M., Green, S. and Muir, J. (2015) Summary of Key Findings. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Robinson, D., Reeve, K., Platts-Fowler, D., Green, S., Walshaw, A., Batty, E. and Bashir, N. (2013) An Evaluation of Getting on Together: The Community Cohesion Strategy for Wales. Cardiff: Welsh Government.

Dayson, C., Gilbertson, J., Morgan, G. and Walshaw, A. (2012) EDF Energy Trust Research Project. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Robinson, D., Walshaw, A., Uwimana, M., Bahati, B. Reeve, K. and Bashir, N. (2012) Evaluation of the Trans-national Resettlement Project: UK and Ireland. London: Home Office.

Wells, P., Hickman, P., Dayson, C., Walshaw, A., Batty, E., Gore, T., Green, S., Wilson, I. and O'Toole, C. (2012) Village SOS Project Evaluation. London: Big Lottery Fund.

CRESR (2011) Sustaining the benefits of capital funding: Final Report. London: The Big Lottery.

Eadson, W., Platts-Fowler, D., Robinson, D. and Walshaw, A. (2011) Community Mapping and Tension Monitoring. Cardiff: Welsh Government.

Hickman, P., Walshaw, A., Ferrari, E., Gore, T. and Wilson, I. (2011) “The Houses all Look Posh Now” - Evaluating the Impact of a Housing Improvement Programme: The Case of Portobello and Belle Vue. Wakefield: Wakefield and District Housing.

Hickman, P., Walshaw, A., Ferrari, E., Gore, T. and Wilson, I. (2011) “The Houses all Look Posh Now” - Evaluating the Impact of a Housing Improvement Programme: the Case of Portobello and Belle Vue - Key Findings and Policy Messages. Wakefield: Wakefield and District Housing.

Robinson, D. and Walshaw, A. (2011) New migration, neighbourhood effects and community change. Swindon: The Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Ferrari, E., Gore, T., Hickman, P., Platts-Fowler, D. and Walshaw, A. (2009) Portobello and Belle Vue Housing Impact Study - Third Annual Review Report - Executive Summary. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Ferrari, E., Gore, T., Hickman, P. and Walshaw, A. (2009) Portobello and Belle Vue Housing Impact Study - Second Annual Review Report - Executive Summary. Sheffield: CRESR, Sheffield Hallam University.

Academic publications

Baker, W., Ambrose, A et al. (2020) Stuck at home in a cold home: the implications of Covid-19 for the fuel poor. People, Place and Policy, 14 (1).

Ambrose, A. (2020) Walking with Energy: challenging energy invisibility and connecting citizens with energy futures through participatory research. Futures, Volume 117.

Palm, J., Reindl, K. and Ambrose, A. (2020) Understanding tenants’ responses to energy efficiency renovations in public housing in Sweden: From the resigned to the demanding. Energy Reports, 6, pp. 2619-2626.

Ambrose, A (2019) Walking with Energy: increasing energy visibility through research participationProceedings of the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy Summer Study, pp. 83-92.

Ambrose, A., Baker, W., Batty, E., and Hawkins, A. (2019) "I have a panic attack when I pick up the phone." Experience of energy advice amongst hard to reach energy users. People, Place and Policy Online, pp. 1-7.

Ambrose, A. and McCarthy, L. (2019) Taming the masculine pioneers: changing attitudes towards energy efficiency amongst private landlords in New ZealandEnergy Policy, 126, pp.165-176.

Goodchild, B., Ambrose, A., Berry, S., Maye-Banbury, A.,  Moore, T. and Sherriff, G. (2019) Modernity, Materiality and Domestic Technology: A Case Study of Cooling and Heating from South AustraliaHousing, Theory and Society, pp1-21.

Moore, T., Berry, S., Sherriff, G., Ambrose, A., Goodchild, B. and Maye-Banbury, A. (2019) Coping with extremes, creating comfort: User experiences of 'low-energy' homes in AustraliaEnergy research and social science, 51, pp. 44–54.

Ambrose, A. and Marchand, R. (2017) The contemporary landscape of fuel poverty research. Indoor and Built Environment, 26 (7), pp. 875–878.

Ambrose, A., Goodchild, B. and O'Flaherty, F. (2017) Understanding the user in low energy housing: a comparison of positivist and phenomenological approaches. Energy Research & Social Science, 34, pp. 163-171.

Goodchild, B., Ambrose, A. and Maye-Banbury, A. (2017) Storytelling as oral history: revealing the changing experiences of home heating in England. Energy Research and Social Science, 31, pp. 137-144.

Ambrose, A., Eadson, W. and Pinder, J. (2016) The role of actor-networks in the early stage mobilisation of low carbon heat networksEnergy Policy, Volume 96, September 2016, pp. 144-152.

Ambrose, A., Eadson, W. and Gilbertson, J. (2016) Editorial: PPP special issue – International Perspectives on Fuel Poverty. People, Place and Policy, 10 (1), pp. 1-4.

Ambrose, A. (2015) Improving energy efficiency in private rented housing: Why don’t landlords act? Indoor and Built Environment, 24 (7), pp. 913-924.

Ambrose, A. and Robinson, D. (2014) Security of tenure in social housing in England. Social Policy and Society, 13 (1), pp. 1-12.

Goodchild, B., O’Flaherty, F. and Ambrose, A., (2014) Inside the eco-home: Using video to understand the implications of innovative housing. Housing, Theory and Society, 31 (3), pp. 334-352.

Ambrose, A. (2013) User and organisational responses to biomass district heating. Journal of Urban Design and Planning, 167 (1), pp. 35 –41.

Walshaw, A. (2012) Understanding the impact of Housing Modernisation from the Bottom Up. Journal of Urban Design and Planning, 165 (1), pp. 7-10.

Goodchild, B. and Walshaw, A. (2011) Towards zero carbon homes in England? From inception to partial implementation. Housing Studies, 26, (6), pp. 933-949.

Walshaw, A. (2011) From House to Home: Residents' Perceptions of Housing Modernisation. Journal or Urban Regeneration and Renewal, 4 (3), pp. 269-278.

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Key clients

Consumer Council for Water
Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
Department for Work and Pensions
Eaga Charitable Trust
Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM)
Welsh Assembly Government
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