Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

Dr Gavin Killip


Research Groups

Key findings from research on low-energy business renovation.

Dr Gavin Killip



Gavin has a BA in Linguistics from York University and an MSc in Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies from the University of East London, in association with the Centre for Alternative Technology. He joined the ECI in 2004 after working for 10 years on energy efficiency and building-integrated renewable energy projects in the voluntary and public sectors. He has reduced energy consumption and CO2 emissions in his own 1908 home by 60% through major refurbishment.

Research Interests

I am interested in finding solutions for a more sustainable built environment. I take a broad 'socio-technical systems' approach to investigating how technology and behaviour evolve and affect each other, with the ultimate goal of proposing positive change by understanding better the workings of complex systems.

Most of my research focus has been on existing housing in the context of climate change mitigation - investigating how 2050 climate change targets might be met through the markets for property (sales and rentals) and repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI). This involves economic transactions, flows of information at many different levels, and challenges for many existing institutions. I aim to make my research relevant to policy.

Current Projects

  • Oxfordshire's Low-Carbon Economy report: now published and launched officially on 8 December 2014
  • Build Up Skills: working with local and national organisations on the development of a curriculum on energy efficiency for the UK construction industry.
  • Carbon Reduction for Housing Managers (CRoHM). Developing tools for social landlords to better understand and manage energy use in their housing stocks. Funded by Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board).
  • Sustainable Pathways to Low Carbon Energy (SPLiCE). A project with various academic and industry partners, jointly funded by Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Media Coverage

  • 'Insulation for the Nation', Costing the Earth. BBC Radio 4. 25 April 2017.
  • BBC Radio 4's Costing the Earth programme spoke to ECI Researcher Dr Gavin Killip about his own home's energy-saving retrofit and asks if carbon-emission cutting can save the climate. Our homes are responsible for 25% of our carbon emissions in the UK and we spend around £25bn a year on our home renovations. This, Dr Killip says, "is ideal opportunity for integrating [energy saving] work." However, there is currently not the skilled workforce to carry out the necessary retrofit renovations, nor the demand, to turn this opportunity into a reality.


  • Killip, G. (2012) Beyond the Green Deal: Market Transformation for low-carbon housing refurbishment in the UK. Retrofit 2012 conference, University of Salford.
  • Janda, K.B. and Killip, G. (2010) Building Expertise: A System of Professions Approach to Low-Carbon Practice. EASST 2010: Practicing Science and Technology, Performing the Social, Trento, Italy. European Association for the Study of Science and Technology, 2-4 September. http://events.unitn.it/en/easst010.
  • Killip, G. (2010) Innovation in service markets for a low-carbon future and the privileged status of policy in shaping sociotechnical change: lessons from housing refurbishment in the UK., SPRU, University of Sussex, UK. Paper presented at the Energy transitions conference, February 2010.
  • Hamilton, J. and Killip, G. (2009) Demonstration, inspiration … replication? Assessing the impact and limits of social learning from Eco-homes Open Days in the UK. at ECEEE Summer Study, La Colle sur Loup, European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. Poster presentation..
  • Killip, G. (2008) Climate change and the existing housing stock. Chartered Institute of Housing. pp. 253. ISBN: 9781905018604.
  • Killip, G. (2008) It's the Size of the Reduction Target, Stupid! The Need for a Wholesale Re-Think of Energy Efficiency Policy in UK Housing. American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.
  • Killip, G. and University of Oxford (2008) Building a Greener Britain: Transforming the UK's Existing Housing Stock.(5)Ingram, J. (ed.) Environmental Change Institute (ECI) 35 pp.
  • 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., Darby, S., Killip, G., Hinnells, M., Jardine, C., Palmer, J. and Sinden, G. (2005) 40% House. Environmental Change Institute. Research Report 31.