Dr Thomas Rushby

Thomas Rushby (MSc, PhD) is a researcher within the Sustainable Energy Research Group (Energy and Climate Change Division) at the University of Southampton.

Prior to joining the University of Southampton, Tom spent 10 years working in civil and structural engineering before completing of a master’s degree in Architecture with a focus on energy, environment and sustainable development. Tom joined the University in 2010, initially working as a Research Engineer on an RCUK funded project – The role of Community-Based Initiatives in Energy Saving – before completing his PhD at the Univeristy of Southampton’s ESRC Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) under the interdisciplinary Energy, Environment and Resilience pathway.

While at the University, Tom has worked on a number of projects with a range of partners, gaining experience in a number of areas including large-scale fieldwork (trial design, implementation and management, trial evaluation) and data analytics and modelling (statistical analysis, microsimulation, spatial microsimulation). He also contributes to teaching on the postgraduate MSc Energy and Sustainability programme.

Research Interests

Tom’s research interests are centred on the transition to a low-carbon energy system, primarily focussed on understanding the changing demand for energy services within buildings, impacts on the infrastruture used to deliver these services, and the impact of different commercial and regulatory arrangements on consumers.

  • Household energy use and behaviour change
  • Understanding and modelling household energy ‘needs’
  • Evaluation of energy efficiency and behaviour change trials
  • Understanding and modelling demand for household energy services
  • Spatial and temporal distribution of demand
  • Distributional impact of commercial and regulatory interventions

Research Projects

The role of Community-Based Initiatives in Energy Saving (CBIES): a 4 year study to investigate the impact of community greening groups on a program of insulation upgrades in 200 privately owned homes. An multi-disciplinary collaboration between Engineering & Physical Sciences and Social Sciences. (£1m)

Solent Achieving Value from Efficiency (SAVE): a 2 year study awarded £10m under the Low Carbon Network Fund (Ofgen/Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution). A large-scale, randomised controlled trial to investigate whether energy efficiency measures and behaviour change programmes can be cost-effective tools for managing peak elecricity demand from households, providing an alternative to traditional network reinforcement.

Seamless Engaging home Services – Making Efficiency Desirable (SENSE): an investigation into customer engagement and the use of energy consumption data to develop and test innovative energy efficiency upgrade packages for residential energy customers. The SENSE project received a grant the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), under the Thermal Efficiency Innovation Fund. The project partners include Igloo Energy (lead) and the Foresight Group.

Research Outcomes

Results from the SAVE project spatial modelling have been visualised using GIS and are illustrated in Figure 1 below. Click here to see more on mapping the SAVE project results.

Average aggregated residential consumption by Census Output Area during peak hours (representative winter weekdays), modelled using SAVE household consumption data.

Project Reports:

Rushby, T.W., Anderson, B., 2019. SAVE SDRC 2.3: Customer Model Final Report (Project report), Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution’s Low Carbon Networks Fund SAVE project. University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.

Steele, E., Dodd, M., Rushby, T.W., Edwards, C., Minissale, D., Fila, M., 2019. SAVE SDRC 8.3: LED Trial Report (Project report), Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution’s Low Carbon Networks Fund SAVE project. SSEN.

Steele, E., Rushby, T.W., Versmissen, R., Bjørndalen, J., de Ronde, M., Steele, A., Gkogka, A., 2019. SAVE SDRC 8.4 & 8.7: Data Informed Engagement and Price Signals Report (Project report), Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution’s Low Carbon Networks Fund SAVE project. SSEN.


Anderson, B., Rushby, T., Bahaj, A., James, P., 2020. Ensuring statistics have power: Guidance for designing, reporting and acting on electricity demand reduction and behaviour change programs. Energy Research & Social Science 59, 101260. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2019.101260

Bardsley, N., Büchs, M., James, P., Papafragkou, A., Rushby, T., Saunders, C., Smith, G., Wallbridge, R., Woodman, N., 2019. Domestic thermal upgrades, community action and energy saving: A three-year experimental study of prosperous households. Energy Policy 127, 475–485. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2018.11.036


Energy and Climate Change Division
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus
University of Southampton
Southampton SO16 7QF

Telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 5463
Email: t.w.rushby@soton.ac.uk

Posted in November, 2019