Reader in Energy Policy, Sheffield Hallam University

I hold an MSc in Urban and Regional Planning and a PhD in domestic energy efficiency. I have published over 30 research reports and papers on issues relating to domestic energy efficiency and fuel poverty. I am also an architectural enthusiast and have written in defence of Brutalist architecture and am a strong advocate of the urgent need to replace our ageing housing stock with purpose built low energy homes fit for C21st living.

I am a Senior Research Fellow at the leading UK policy research centre The Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) which sits within Sheffield Hallam University. I have worked as a researcher at the centre for the past eight years and during this time I've worked on a diverse range of research and evaluation projects in the fields of environmental sustainability, housing, housing modernisation, energy, immigration, welfare reform and the voluntary and community sector. I have a particular interest in the related areas of energy policy, energy infrastructure, environmentally sustainable housing and fuel poverty and I am the author of 11 peer reviewed journal publications on these topics.

Since 2012 I've received international recognition for my expertise in domestic energy efficiency and have acted as an Expert Advisor to the International Energy Agency on changing energy behaviour. Over the last three years, I have secured and directed ten research projects relating to various energy policies and interventions including three evaluations for the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

In recent years I have become immersed in the debate about how to drive up standards of energy performance in private rented housing. The private rented sector is the least energy efficient tenure in the UK and at the same time houses a larger proportion of our most vulnerable households than any other sector. The experiences of private rented sector tenants with regards to energy efficiency is under researched and we also know very little about why landlords' so seldom invest in improving the energy performance of their properties. Over the last four years I have set about researching the so-called private rented sector problem with the aim of better understanding both landlords and tenants perspectives on this stubborn policy problem. In early 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. New Zealand is home to the least energy efficient housing stock in the developed world, so provided the perfect case study.

In 2015, I worked with colleagues at the Universities of Sheffield and Salford to establish a new learned society for the producers and users of fuel poverty research called the Fuel Poverty Research Network (the FPRN). The network promotes the dissemination of cutting edge research and intelligence on all aspects of fuel poverty and promotes collaboration between members. We now have well over 100 members and the network is going international, attracting membership in Australia, New Zealand and several European countries. Anyone with an interest or a role in understanding, alleviating and eradicating fuel poverty can join.

Some of my most recent research publications are listed below and can be accessed via the CRESR website:

Research reports (since 2013):
Ambrose, A., McCarthy, L. and Pinder, J. (2017). Energy (In)efficiency: what tenants expect and endure in private rented accommodation, Eaga Charitable Trust: Kendal

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., Hickman, P., McCarthy, L. (2015), Tenancy Sustainment amongst those aged under 35, Hyde Housing: London

Ambrose, A., Eadson, W. and Pinder, J. (2015) Low Carbon Pioneer Cities Heat Networks Project: a process evaluation. Department of Energy & Climate Change, London.

Ambrose, A. (2015), Improving energy efficiency in the private rented sector: Dunedin why don't landlords act? A summary of emerging findings, CRESR and University of Otago

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

Ambrose, A., Goodchild, B., O'Flaherty,F. (2013), User Perspectives in Low Energy Housing: A video and interactive website: ESRC grant number ES/J010367/1

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.

Academic articles (2011-2017)

Ambrose, A, Goochild, B and O'Flaherty, F (forthcoming), Phenomenology versus positivism in understanding user responses to low energy housing, Energy Research and Social Science

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

Ambrose, A., Eadson, W. and Pinder, J. (2016) The role of actor-networks in the early stage mobilisation of low carbon heat networks, Energy Policy, Volume 96, September 2016, p. 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) Energy efficiency in the private rented sector: why don't landlords' act? Journal of the Indoor and Built Environment, OnlineFirst. DOI: 10.1177/1420326X15598821

Ambrose, A (2014) User and organisational responses to biomass district heating, Journal of Urban Design and Planning, 167 (1)

Goodchild B, Ambrose, A. O'Flaherty F (2014). Inside the Eco-home: Using Video to Understand the Implications of Innovative Housing. Housing Theory and Society

Robinson, D. and Walshaw, A. (2013) Security of tenure in social housing in England. Social Policy and Society. 13 (1), pp.1-12

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

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

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


  • –present
    Senior Research Fellow, expert in domestic energy efficiency, Sheffield Hallam University


  • 2017 
    Sheffield Hallam University , PhD Domestic Energy Efficiency