Dr Brenda Boardman


Research Groups

Dr Brenda Boardman

Emeritus Research Fellow


Brenda is an Emeritus Fellow at the ECI following her retirement in September 2008. She is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter. At the ECI, Brenda was the former head of the Lower Carbon Futures team and a co-director of the UK Energy Research Centre. Her main research focus is on how to achieve demand reduction in energy across the UK economy, but in particular the built environment.

Research Interests

Brenda's main research focus is on energy efficiency and the way that energy is used in British homes, particularly by low-income households, i.e. fuel poverty. She considers the economic, social and technical aspects of the subject and her work has a strong policy emphasis. She is widely viewed as one of the most experienced in her field and was awarded an MBE in 1998 for her work on energy efficiency and received the Energy Institute's Melchett Medal in the same year.

Brenda's second book, Fixing Fuel Poverty: Challenges and solutions is available in both paperback and hardback. The book examines why the numbers of households in fuel poverty are rising - currently 5m in the UK - despite the government's legal obligation to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016. Many of the lessons from the UK are germaine to other countries beginning to experience worsening fuel poverty, particularly in Eastern and Central Europe. The European Commission now requires action on fuel poverty in all Member States, through the revised Electricity Directive. Brenda has given a series of presentations about the book to various professional and academic audiences in the UK, in Brussels and in Prague.


Brenda continues to supervise two doctoral students and to give occasional lectures to the MSc in Environmental Change and Management. She also contributes to the MSc in Energy Policy at Exeter University and is external examiner for the MSc in Theory and Practice of Sustainable Design, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University.

Selected Media Apperances and Presentations


Special issue of Energy Policy on fuel poverty

In 2012 a special issue of the international journal Energy Policy was published commemorating 21 years of research and policy related to fuel poverty. The issue is a tribute to the work of Brenda Boardman and hails her as the primary “researcher, strategic thinker and campaigner” on the world of fuel poverty. View the special edition online: Fuel Poverty Comes of Age: Commemorating 21 Years of Research and Policy.

The missed exam: Conversations with Brenda Boardman, by Christine Liddell (Energy Policy 49:12-18)

  • Boardman, B. (2011) Fuel poverty. Geography Review, 24(3): 14-15.
  • Boardman, B. (2011) Measuring your energy use. Geography Review, 24(2): 14-15.
  • Boardman, B. (2011) The cost of heating your home. Geography Review, 24(1): 28-29.
  • Fawcett, T. and Boardman, B. (2009) Housing market transformation. The Proceedings of the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy Summer Study 2009.. 429-440. ISBN: 9789163344541.
  • Hinnells, M. and Boardman, B. (2009) Market Transformation: Innovation Theory and Practice. In, Foxon, T. and Kohler, J. and Oughton, C. (eds.) Innovation for a low carbon economy: economic, institutional and management approaches. Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 203-229. ISBN: 9781847203823.
  • Boardman, B. (2008) Full witness statement by Dr Brenda Boardman for the legal case against the UK Government for failing to meet its legal requirements to eradicate fuel poverty under the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000.
  • Boardman, B. (2008) Index Key for the legal case against the UK Government for failing to meet its legal requirements to eradicate fuel poverty under the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000.
  • Brand, C. and Boardman, B. (2008) Taming of the few – The unequal distribution of greenhouse gas emissions from personal travel in the UK. Energy Policy, 36(1): 224-238.
  • Boardman, B. (2006) Creating a virtuous circle for climate change with consumers, manufacturers and sufficiency. Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting.
  • Boardman, B. (2006) The challenge of existing uk houses. IABSE Henderson Colloquium, Cambridge, 10-12 July 2006.
  • Boardman, B., Jardine, C. and Lipp, J. (2006) Green Electricity Code of Practice: A Scoping Study. Environmental Change Institute. Oxford University Centre for the Environment, University of Oxford, UK
  • Brand, C., Preston, J. and Boardman, B. (2006) Integrated travel emissions profiles: final research report to the ESRC. Transport Studies Unit and Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
  • Palmer, J., Boardman, B., Bottrill, C., Darby, S., Hinnells, M., Killip, G., Layberry, R. and Lovell, H. (2006) Reducing the environmental impact of housing. Final Report, Consultancy study in support of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollutions 26th Report on the Urban Environment.
  • Boardman, B. (2005) Brave New World. The Guardian.
  • Boardman, B. (2005) Policy packages to achieve demand reduction. Proceedings of the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (eceee) 2005 Summer Study - What works & who delivers?, 30 May - 4 June 2005.. 231-236. ISBN: 9163140020.
  • Boardman, B. (2005) Renewable Iceland. Geography review(4): 40-41.
  • Boardman, B. (2004) Achieving energy efficiency through product policy: the UK experience. Environmental Science & Policy, 7(3): 165-176.
  • Boardman, B. (2004) New directions for household energy efficiency: evidence from the UK. Energy Policy, 32(17): 1921-1933.
  • Boardman, B. (2004) Starting on the road to sustainability. Building Research & Information, 32(3): 264-268.
  • Boardman, B., Palmer, J. and Lane, K. (2003) 4CE - Consumer choice and carbon consciousness: Electricity disclosure in Europe. Final project report, ECI research report issue 28. Environmental Change Institute (ECI), University of Oxford, Oxford, UK ISBN: 18734370360.
  • Jardine, C., Boardman, B., Osman, A., Vowles, J. and Palmer, J. (2003) Methane UK.(30) Environmental Change Institute (ECI), Oxford, UK.
  • Boardman, B. and Fawcett, T. (2002) Competition for the Poor: Liberalisation of Electricity Supply and Fuel Poverty: Lessons from Great Britain for Northern Ireland. Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford.
  • Boardman, B., Banks, N., Kirby, H.R., Fawcett, T., Lane, K. and Hurst, A. (2002) Lower Carbon Futures. Environmental Change Institute (ECI), University of Oxford
  • Fawcett, T., Hurst, A. and Boardman, B. (2002) Carbon UK. Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford.
  • Green, J., Darby, S., Maby, C. and Boardman, B. (1998) Advice into action An evaluation of the effectiveness of energy advice to low income households. Keswick (United Kingdom): Eaga Charitable Trust
  • Winward, J., Schiellerup, P. and Boardman, B. (1998) Cool Labels: The first three years of the European Energy Label. Environmental Change Unit, University of Oxford. ISBN: 1 874370 21 4.