Article

Retrofitting residential building envelopes for energy efficiency: motivations of individual homeowners in Israel

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Abstract

The willingness of private individuals in Israel to invest in energy-saving retrofit of the envelope of residential buildings was studied by means of a survey. Responses show that awareness of the need to conserve energy is high, but that willingness to participate in a retrofit project is modest and is limited to relatively small outlays. The decision on whether to retrofit at all, and then how much to invest in the project, is characterized as a two-stage process in which different factors may affect the outcome of each of the two stages. The major barrier to building retrofit is the perception (justified, in most cases) that the direct economic benefit to the homeowner from the resulting energy saving is small, and that given Israel's relatively mild climate, the payback period is very long. The stamp of approval provided by a government subsidy of 25% would have a large non-proportional effect on willingness to undertake building retrofit. Funding for the subsidy could be obtained from a Pigovian levy on electricity, applied for a limited period, and its environmental benefits outweigh the cost of the subsidy itself.

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... Previous survey-based studies [36,55] on house owners have shown that the household's income and perceptions on energy costs were important predictors of the decision to invest in measures that would improve energy efficiency. The high investment costs of energy renovations are identified as a major barrier, especially for young families who have relatively lower income and savings, even though they are most likely to be interested to perform such renovation [41,56,57]. Furthermore, there are house owners who believe that the household will not have significant gains from the reduction of energy cost compared to the initial investment, which stops them from moving forward an energy-related renovation [44]. ...
... The financial returns from an investment in energy efficiency measures is considered another motivating factor for house owners. Many house owners consider that the financial returns from investments in multiple energy efficiency measures are negative [56], while others find a strong motive in their belief that potential energy savings will pay off their initial investment [57]. Those house owners who find a negative relationship between multiple energy efficiency investments and financial returns are more willing to adopt the energy efficiency measures that will bring them short term investment returns, especially if the investment cost for them is modest [58]. ...
... The context of this research is Kronoberg province in Sweden. Sweden, which has been the context of multiple earlier studies on EER [55][56][57][58][59], is argued to be among the markets where OSS would be most relevant for two reasons. First, the market is currently dominated by micro and small construction companies that typically offer fragmented services in their area of expertise [60]. ...
Thesis
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The building sector is the biggest energy user in the European Union (EU) and therefore, has an important role to play in meeting the energy and climate goals of EU. In Sweden, more than 80% of the two million detached houses are more than 35 years of age. Energy efficiency renovation of those old houses can reduce primary energy use by 65% to 90%. However, the current low rate of energy renovations yearly about 1% of the building stock) in the EU in general must at least be doubled to meet the energy and climate goals. The low rate of renovations is attributed, among others, to the fragmented market where various actors offer their service in piecemeal approach and homeowners undergo a complex decision-making process. The introduction of innovative collaborative business models can simplify that complex process and eventually accelerate the rate of energy efficiency renovations. One-stop-shop (OSS) business model is one such model where a single actor coordinates other actors in the renovation value chain to offer comprehensive renovation packages. This model has started to emerge in some parts of the EU, but the knowledge about it remains limited in the Swedish context. To examine the prospects for the development of an OSS in the Swedish context, this research investigated the demand (homeowners) and supply-side (professionals) of house renovations, as well as, the general market conditions to develop strategies to promote energy renovation. Online questionnaire survey of homeowners was conducted covering Kronoberg county (year 2017, 971 answers) and whole Sweden (year 2018, 12194 answers). Interviews were conducted with 21 owners/managers of micro-and small-sized construction enterprises, which are dominant in the house renovation market. Furthermore, 16 interviews were conducted with the Project Managers of 4 medium-sized construction enterprises, 4 Loan Officers from four large Swedish banks, and 8 brokers from real-estate agencies. In addition, interviews have been conducted with the energy advisors of the eight municipalities of Kronoberg County. An analysis based on transaction cost economics and resourcebased theory was conducted to identify the conditions under which the OSS concept could emerge in the Swedish market. Market gap analysis, systematic literature review, and consultation with 11 Swedish and international experts in the energyefficiency renovation market, formed the basis for proposing strategies to support renovations. The findings demonstrate that the house's age and the age of the homeowner, as well as, annual household income and environmental and energy awareness of the homeowner, are the factors influencing renovation decisions and homeowners' propensity to undertake energy-efficiency renovations. Findings also demonstrate that there are several homeowners capable to constitute a segment of potential early adopters for one-stop-shop. Regarding supply-side actors, the findings demonstrate that, in theory, one-stop-shop is viewed positively, but still supply-side actors are hesitant to adopt the concept, mainly due to the lack of resources and management competence, as well as, the perceived risks associated with a change of their business model. Nevertheless, this research identified two supply-side actor profiles, who under certain conditions, could be the coordinators of a one-stop-shop. Strategies are also proposed, to make market conditions conducive for energy-efficiency renovations in detached houses. In conclusion, the overall prospects for the development of one-stop-shop for energy-efficiency renovations of detached houses in Sweden can be characterized as moderately positive. This thesis provides insights on the key issues to be addressed, for one-stop-shop to achieve an acceptable market success and provide a sustainable business to the professionals wishing to become active in the renovation market under this concept.
... Fig. 6 summarizes the willingness to adopt low-carbon building standards. Adopters in Europe are somewhat neutral toward retrofitting to higher performance standards (zero-energy houses, renewables, and fuel cells) [108], while Asian adopters are strongly positive toward retrofitting to green buildings [109,110]. On the contrary, governmental actions toward higher standards (tax incentives and energy audits) are supported worldwide. For example, community respondents in Malaysia approve property tax incentives [110], and homeowners in Israel tolerate energy audits by the governments. ...
... For example, community respondents in Malaysia approve property tax incentives [110], and homeowners in Israel tolerate energy audits by the governments. A closer look at the results in the Middle East suggests that in spite of the positive attitude toward environmental actions and potential economic savings, adopters see a large list of hindrances to adoption, such as disruptions, low technical understanding, co-ownership, state involvement, and distrust in the technology [109]. We conclude that in developing countries, a positive attitude toward retrofitting is not enough, and to increase adoption, the retrofitting process needs to be improved in terms of logistics, minimizing disruption, and informing the affected community. ...
... The darker the color, stronger is the agreement; the lighter the color, the stronger is the disagreement. 6. Willingness to adopt performance standards; summary of responses from qualitative studies [108][109][110][111]. Red bars indicate developed countries; green bars, Asia and the developed Pacific; and blue bars, Africa and Middle East. ...
Article
Low-carbon solutions for buildings are key for attaining climate targets globally, but understanding the factors influencing their adoption remains lacking. Thus, we systematically map the peer-reviewed literature including all perspectives, methodologies, solutions, and world regions to provide quantitative and narrative syntheses. We found that most studies focus on developed regions, with the biggest cluster on renewable energy in Europe. Worldwide, low-carbon material solutions are the least investigated, whereas behavioral issues and circular economy are rarely examined in developed regions. Economic, informational, and attitudinal aspects are tackled more often than socio-technical issues. Adoption is more frequently described in terms of enabling reasons than barriers. Despite proven positive environmental attitudes and willingness to adopt low-carbon solutions, these are outweighed by financial aspects all over the world. A detailed account of the findings concerning reasons and barriers for adoption is presented for different solution categories.
... Previous qualitative studies mainly focus on the stated motivations and barriers. Friedman studied Israeli homeowners' concerns and found they worry about small direct economic benefits and long payback period [13]. Klockner found the main reasons for Norwegian homeowners not to make investment towards retrofit were long construction period and "the feeling that the right time has not come yet" [14]. ...
... Some researchers believed these financial incentives can stimulate energy efficiency retrofit. Some suggested higher subsidies can help to execute more retrofit projects [13], while some others are against this idea [43]. ...
Article
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In China, energy efficiency retrofit of residential buildings is entering a new stage in which homeowners are the main subject. In order to investigate homeowners’ willingness to invest and to analyze its influencing factors, interviews and a questionnaire survey were conducted in central Tianjin, China. The results show that homeowners have a certain willingness to invest in energy efficiency retrofit but that their willingness to pay (WTP) is far from enough to cover the total cost. Among the influencing factors, the homeowner’s age, education level, and retrofit experience as well as the age and floor area of their home are significantly related to their WTP. The reasons for the impact of these factors are further discussed, including the influences of China’s previous housing policies and retrofit policies. Policy recommendations to promote investment by homeowners are suggested based on the findings.
... The questionnaire (in French) was divided into two parts (please see Appendix (Risholt and Berker, 2013) (Friedman et al., 2018). The respondents were asked to evaluate every single barrier using a five-point Likert scale, where 1 meant that the barrier was not important while 5 meant that the barrier was very important. ...
... These results are in agreement with the findings of Nair et al. (2011) who also indicate that "Attitude towards energy efficiency improvements" barriers such as" Investments in energy efficiency measures are a low priority compared to other measures "are not a serious hindrance. However, the results are in disagreement with the findings of Friedman et al. (2018) and Stieß and Dunkelberg (2013) that "Attitude towards energy efficiency improvements" barriers such as" lack of interested in energy efficiency "are fairly important. The fact that homeowners have considered "Attitude towards energy efficiency improvements" barriers as not significant hindrances might be because, for these homeowners, their energy costs are high enough to motivate them to invest in energy efficiency measure. ...
Article
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The residential sector of Algeria consumes 29 % of the total energy consumption. In order to reduce and address this consumption along with the challenges of climate change, the Algerian public policy considers energy Energy Efficiency Investment Measures (EEIMs) in the residential sector as a key factor. However, despite the recommendations and incitement measures from the government, the adoption of EEIMs of Algerian homeowners is too low. In 2018, EEIMs have been implemented in 4000 houses. This number represents only 4% of the government’s target which is the implementation of EEIMs in 100.000 houses per year. The present paper, accordingly, attempts to explore the barriers to the adoption of energy efficiency investment measures. To this effect, a questionnaire survey with 150 randomly selected Algerian single-family homeowners in Mostaganem area was used for the study. It was found that the five greatest barriers to the adoption of EEIMs were: (1) the lack of subsidies and rebates on energy efficient equipment, (2) the high initial prices of energy efficient equipment, (3) the lack of techniques and tools for the estimation of saved energy, (4) the unwillingness to borrow money, (5) the difficulty of identifying, procuring, installing, operating, and maintaining energy efficiency measures. The Principal Component Analysis (PCA) categorised 16 barriers around four components: (1) “Financial” barriers, (2) “Technological” barriers, (3) “Lack of time and knowledge” barriers, (4) “Attitude towards energy efficiency improvements” barriers. Finally, the Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) analysis has shown that the perception of barriers to the adoption of EEIMs also differs in accordance with certain personal characteristics of the homeowner. Keywords: barriers, energy efficiency investment measures; homeowners, questionnaire survey, Algeria
... On the other hand, PBP corresponds to the time in which, for a given discount rate, the investment cost will be repaid [22]. As homeowners prefer investments with low-risk exposure [23], a short PBP is more preferable. The profitability of the GSHP, PV and GSHP-PV systems was analysed for four Swedish climate zones, all with different climate conditions. ...
Article
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The majority of the single-family houses in Sweden are affected by deteriorations in building envelopes as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. These dwellings are, therefore, in need of extensive renovation, which provides an excellent opportunity to install renewable energy supply systems to reduce the total energy consumption. The high investment costs of the renewable energy supply systems were previously distinguished as the main barrier in the installation of these systems in Sweden. House-owners should, therefore, compare the profitability of the energy supply systems and select the one, which will allow them to reduce their operational costs. This study analyses the profitability of a ground source heat pump, photovoltaic solar panels and an integrated ground source heat pump with a photovoltaic system, as three energy supply systems for a single-family house in Sweden. The profitability of the supply systems was analysed by calculating the payback period (PBP) and internal rate of return (IRR) for these systems. Three different energy prices, three different interest rates, and two different lifespans were considered when calculating the IRR and PBP. In addition, the profitability of the supply systems was analysed for four Swedish climate zones. The analyses of results show that the ground source heat pump system was the most profitable energy supply system since it provided a short PBP and high IRR in all climate zones when compared with the other energy supply systems. Additionally, results show that increasing the energy price improved the profitability of the supply systems in all climate zones.
... technologies which are cost-effective and even paying off the investment cost are not adopted. Furthermore, there are energy-efficient technologies which consist of the huge direct environmental and social benefits in addition to the costeffectiveness, but a slower adoption was noted (Friedman et al. 2018;Gerarden et al. 2017;Ruby 2015). In addition, lack of adoption has been identified in instances where even the policy support is available to uptake energy-efficient technologies along with the cost-effectiveness (IEA 2012: Gerarden et al. 2017). ...
Book
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Definitions Energy-efficient technology is a type of energy technology that conserves more energy. This is compared to the standard energy technologies which are less energy-efficient (Koomey et al. 1994.
... Supply side retrofit measures involve the use of renewable energy [146,147] like solar thermal, photovoltaic [148], wind power, biomass or geothermal [149,150]. Several works presented the importance and significance of renewable energy use in buildings, suggesting programs, methods, and strategies to incorporate renewable sources in retrofit actions [151][152][153][154][155]. The most frequent type of energy measures in building retrofits concerns the demand side [156][157][158][159][160][161][162][163], where a decrease in a building's energy demand is achieved by introducing new technologies, thermal storage or heat recovery systems [164][165][166][167], or through the use of passive technologies [168] such as shading systems [169][170][171][172], natural ventilation [173,174] and site planning [175][176][177]. Lastly, building energy demand could also be significantly reduced simply by a change in energy consumption patterns [178,179]. ...
Article
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The research about energy efficiency in buildings has exponentially increased during the last few years. Nevertheless, both research and practice still cannot rely on complete methodologies tailored for building portfolios as a whole, because the attention has always been drawn to individual premises. Yet, energy efficiency analyses need to go beyond the single building perspective and incorporate strategic district approaches to optimize the retrofit investment. For this purpose, several aspects should be considered simultaneously, and new methodologies should also be promoted. Therefore, this paper aims to discuss energy retrofit campaigns in building portfolios, drawing an exhaustive and updated review about the challenge of jumping from the single-building perspective to a stock-based analysis. This research discusses the publications available on the topic from five key aspects that are all essential steps in achieving a complete and reliable study of energy efficiency at a portfolio level. They are energy modelling and assessment, energy retrofit design, decision-making criteria assessment, optimal allocation of (financial) resources and risk valuation. This review, therefore, advocates for joint consideration of the problem as a basis on which to structure further disciplinary developments. Research gaps are highlighted, and new directions for future research are suggested.
... A significant number of studies identified factors motivating or preventing house owners toward energy-efficient solutions. They are categorized in related literature as economic [19][20][21][22], behavioral [19,[23][24][25][26][27], social [28][29][30], regulatory [31], and factors related to the physical condition of the dwelling [19,28,[31][32][33][34][35]. To better understand how all those different factors affect the level of adoption of energy-efficient measures, it is important to understand the "journey" of house owners in deciding to renovate their dwelling. ...
Chapter
Based on an online survey, this paper analyzes the attitude of detached house owners in Sweden toward future renovations and their perception over a one-stop-shop (OSS) service for deep renovation of these dwellings. With the aid of a house owners’ renovation decision-making journey for renovation, personal and contextual variables have been analyzed to identify those house owners having renovation plans in the near future, what they are going to renovate, and which needs to lead them to that decision. Furthermore, we examine if there is an interest in OSS concept and the factors affecting positively or negatively the choice for such a concept. Results suggest that deep renovation is not yet prioritized. The priority for house owners is to change specific components of their dwelling and follow a step-wise approach. Aesthetic renovations are high on the agenda, with some structural and energy-related renovations following them. House owners between 29 and 49 years of age are those mostly interested in more comprehensive renovations. The OSS concept appears to be interesting to a number of house owners capable to verify a business potential. House owners up to the age of 45 years, with dwellings built from 1960 and above and with environmental awareness, are the market segment that can act as early adopters of the OSS concept. When it comes to the decision-making journey for renovations, house owners’ future plans, and the factors affecting their choice for an OSS provider, we can claim that OSS can act as a guide for house owners from the early stages of their decision-making journey and provide them with a shortcut that will make this journey more secure, while triggering renovation decision of greater extent. In terms of financing, incentives related to energy performance are also suggested as means that could boost greater interest for more comprehensive renovations.
... The financial returns from an investment in energy efficiency measures is considered another motivating factor for house owners. Many house owners consider that the financial returns from investments in multiple energy efficiency measures are negative [56], while others find a strong motive in their belief that potential energy savings will pay off their initial investment [57]. Those house owners who find a negative relationship between multiple energy efficiency investments and financial returns are more willing to adopt the energy efficiency measures that will bring them short term investment returns, especially if the investment cost for them is modest [58]. ...
Article
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In this paper, we examine factors affecting owners’ intention for renovation of their detached houses. Furthermore, we analyze their interest in choosing a one-stop-shop (OSS) service for the renovation, even though such a concept is not yet established in Sweden, but emerging in other parts of Europe. Our study is based on responses to an online questionnaire survey of 971 house owners residing in Kronoberg Region in Sweden. About 76% of the respondents intend to renovate in the near future, with approximately 71% of them preferring to renovate individual components of their dwelling and 5% to renovate their whole house in steps. House owners of younger age, higher income, higher education, and those with an interest for environmental issues, were the ones most interested in physical renovations, which improves energy efficiency of the building. For those house owners, one-stop-shop can facilitate the decision-making process, and help them to choose those measures that will improve their quality of life. Approximately 20% of the respondents had a positive view towards an one-stop-shop, which is an indicator that market for such a service exists. Parameters such as quality of work, cost and energy savings and specification of measures to be adopted are the key for the promotion of one-stop-shop. Additionally, house owners want to have a certain level of involvement in the selection of actors performing the renovation. Moreover, financial incentives, e.g., loans, do not play a significant role for the selection of one-stop-shop, but act as complementary motive for house owners.
... Research on homeowners' investment-decision-energy behaviors focuses on exploring the internal logic of such behaviors and how to achieve energy-saving effects of housing renovation. In terms of investment, many studies regarded home renovation adoption as investment behaviors [47,48]. In this sense, a cost-effectiveness analysis was emphasized [49], where retrofit cost, profitability, payback period and other economic indicators were employed as main index for evaluating whether to implement home renovation. ...
Article
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Energy retrofitting of existing residential buildings has a great potential to achieve a sustainable future. One important way to reach this potential is to understand homeowners’ retrofit behaviors due to their crucial roles in retrofit adoption and retrofit effects. Despite many attempts, researchers and governments still know less about the holistic profile of homeowners’ retrofit behaviors, which brought little success in trigging renovation activities and achieving expected retrofit effects. This study tries to fill this research gap by a comprehensive review of the body of existing research. A keyword-based scientometric analysis was performed based on a set of 152 journal articles. By further refining keywords, main research domains pertaining to investment-decision-energy behaviors, policy instruments, retrofit types, construction & services, and methods & methodologies were mapped to show relevant research knowledge and research topics. Based on these research results, a further integrated framework was developed, which explains homeowners’ retrofit behaviors in a systematic way of cross-disciplinary knowledge interactions. Furthermore, implications for retrofit policies in existing buildings were provided. This study is useful for facilitating future research to deepen homeowners’ retrofit behaviors, and also provides valuable references for policy makers to successfully promote home energy retrofit.
... For example, the perceived lack of space to install energy efficiency equipment has been found one of the factors influencing house owners' preferences on energy retrofits [55]. Further studies have shown that the perceived hassle of installation [56] and changes to the visual appearance of the property [57] hinder homeowners from implementing energy efficiency improvements. Other researchers have argued that the intention to create a more comfortable indoor climate motivates homeowners to adopt energy efficiency measures [58]. ...
Article
Energy retrofit tools are considered by many countries as one of the strongest incentives to encourage homeowners to invest in energy renovation. These tools help homeowners to get an initial overview of suitable retrofit measures. Although a large number of energy retrofit tools have been developed to inspire and educate homeowners, energy renovation by individual homeowners is still lagging and the impact of current tools is insufficient as awareness and information issues remain one of main obstacles that hinder the uptake of energy retrofitting schemes. This research extends the current knowledge by analysing the characteristics of 19 tools from 10 different countries. The selected tools were analysed in terms of energy calculation methods, features, generation and range of retrofit measures, evaluation criteria, and indications on financial support. The review indicates that: (1) most toolkits use empirical data-driven methods, pre-simulated databases, and normative calculation methods; (2) few tools generate long-term integrated renovation packages; (3) technological, social, and aesthetic aspects are rarely taken into consideration; (4) the generation of funding options varies between the existing tools; (5) most toolkits do not suggest specific retrofit solutions adapted to traditional buildings; and (6) preferences of homeowners in terms of evaluation criteria are often neglected
... A study in North China revealed that retrofitting a multi-story residential building could diminish energy usage by about 50% while still providing an acceptable indoor thermal environment [19]. Though energy reduction of as much as 70-85% is possible in residential buildings through retrofitting, the investment can be very high [20]. Variable user behaviour along with building management can also significantly impact the energy savings of buildings [21]. ...
Article
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The world is looking to reduce carbon emissions, prevent global warming, and become more energy sustainable. Despite the various strategies for mitigating climate change, the fact remains that 80% of greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to activities associated with the built environment, and this is where a concentrated focus is needed. Moreover, most buildings are residential , not commercial or industrial. In essence, ways must be found to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions from existing houses and apartments globally if sustainability is to be realised. The recognised way to achieve this is through the retrofitting of existing residential buildings. Studies in this area have increased in recent times, but the extent of the work remains unmapped and undescribed. If further progress is to be made in this field, researchers' knowledge domain so far must be documented. This literature review delivers that goal. A scientometric evaluation of research on residential retrofitting is here presented. VOSviewer, Gephi, and CiteSpace are the software packages used. Findings identify retrofitting as an emerging theme, taking off only as recently as 2017. The breadth of research is very limited, primarily concerned with calibrating trade-offs between energy costs and thermal comfort. Emerging and new opportunities to expand retrofitting research are identified. Finally, while several journals accommodate publications on this topic, analysis reveals Energy and Buildings to be the significant citation source.
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This article examines whether and how energy retrofitting of owner-occupied dwellings can be understood within the framework of social practice theories. Practice theories help to shift the focus towards more collective approaches and practices, rather than towards individuals. In addressing this question, energy retrofits are described and their variability compared in four European areas: Denmark, Latvia, the Coimbra area in Portugal and Wallonia in Belgium. Although these areas have different geographical, cultural and housing contexts, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) provides a common form of regulation. As a policy, its main underlying intention is to promote the opportunities for energy retrofitting. Based on an analysis of 60 in-depth interviews with homeowners, it is found that energy retrofitting is not an integrative practice in 2010, despite the EPBD and other efforts to enforce such a practice. This lack of a retrofitting practice exists for a variety of reasons: it is not sustained by common and conventionalized routines, and by shared know-how and goals among relevant actors (e.g. homeowners and craftsmen). Based on practice theories, novel policy recommendations are provided to help to constitute an energy-related renovation practice in detached owner-occupied houses.
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Renovation/retrofit is a key policy measure to reduce energy and emissions in existing residential stock. Existing approaches are typically based on assumptions about individual attitudes and technical–rational models, reliant on regulations and incentive programmes to influence homeowner ‘behaviour’. However, insufficient evaluation, together with inadequate attention given to the social dimensions of renovation, result in considerable uncertainty over the effectiveness of such policies. Drawing on ethnographic case studies informed by theories of social practice, this paper examines to what extent low energy and other environmental concerns come into play in renovations when they are conceptualized as social practices. A practice theory approach is adopted to analyze the intersection of renovations with homeowners’ practices. The analysis highlights the disparity between policy intentions for energy efficiency and everyday life. Findings reveal retrofit practices are mediated by the performance of practices comprising daily routines, both current and those anticipated in the future. Current policies and programmes focused on technical interventions to improve energy efficiency will have limited reach and impact. Instead, it is suggested, among other interventions, that policies to reduce the environmental impact of housing should be reframed around and positioned to address the mundane practices of everyday life. Use the following link for free access to special issue until 30/9/2014 http://www.tandfonline.com/r/bri-energy-retrofits
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To make robust judgments of an energy efficiency programme's economic effectiveness, we need to know how much energy and CO2 is actually being saved through the financial support it provides. But most evaluations of home retrofit energy efficiency programmes depend on calculated, rather than measured, levels of energy consumption. This fails to take into account the discrepancies that have been observed in practice, between calculated and actual energy consumption both before and after refurbishment. Evaluations of energy efficiency programmes ideally need to consider rebound effects, free rider effects, reduced savings due to insufficient technical quality, and discrepancies between actual and calculated pre-refurbishment energy consumption. This paper investigates and compares evaluations of two prominent energy efficiency programmes in the Germany and UK–the CO2-Building Rehabilitation Programme and the Supplier Obligation. We show that evaluations of the Supplier Obligation explicitly address most of the reduction effects whereas this is not the case for the CO2-Building Rehabilitation Programme.
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The area of policy formulation for the energy/carbon performance of housing is coming under increasing focus. A major challenge is to account for the large variation within national housing stocks relative to factors such as location, climate, age, construction, previous upgrades, appliance use and heating/cooling system types. Existing policy oriented tools rely on static calculation models that have limited ability to represent building behaviour and the impact of future changes in climate and technology. The switch to detailed simulation tools to address these limitations in the context of policy development has hitherto been focussed on the modelling of a small number of representative designs rather than dealing with the spread inherent in large housing stocks. To address these challenges, the ESRU Domestic Energy Model (EDEM) has been developed as a Web based tool built on detailed simulation models that have been aligned with the outcomes of national house condition surveys. On the basis of pragmatic inputs, EDEM is able to determine energy use and carbon emissions at any scale - from an individual dwelling to national housing stocks. The model was used at the behest of the Scottish Building Standards Agency and South Ayrshire Council to determine the impact of upgrades and the deployment of new and renewable energy systems. EDEM was also used to rate the energy/carbon performance of individual dwellings as required by the EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EU, 2002). This paper describes the EDEM methodology and presents the findings from applications at different scales.
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The area of policy formulation for the energy and carbon performance of buildings is coming under increasing focus. A major challenge is to account for the large variation within building stocks relative to factors such as location, climate, age, construction, previous upgrades, appliance usage and type of heating/cooling/lighting system. Existing policy-related tools that rely on simple calculation methods have a limited ability to represent the dynamic interconnectedness of technology options and the impact of possible future changes in climate and occupant behaviour. The use of detailed simulation tools to address these limitations in the context of policy development has hitherto been focused on the modelling of a number of representative designs rather than dealing with the spread inherent in large building stocks. Further, these tools have been research-oriented and largely unsuitable for direct use by policy-makers, practitioners and, ultimately, building owners/occupiers. This chapter summarizes recent initiatives that have applied advanced modelling and simulation in the context of policy formulation for large building stocks. To exemplify the stages of the process, aspects of the ESRU Domestic Energy Model (EDEM) are described. EDEM is a policy support tool built on detailed simulation models aligned with the outcomes of national surveys and future projections for the housing stock. On the basis of pragmatic inputs, the tool is able to determine energy use, carbon emissions and upgrade/running costs for any national building stock or subset. The tool has been used at the behest of the Scottish Building Standards Agency and South Ayrshire Council to determine the impact of housing upgrades, including the deployment of new and renewable energy systems, and to rate the energy/carbon performance of individual dwellings as required by the European Commission's Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EC, 2002).
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This paper reviews the literature concerning the energy savings that can be achieved through optimized building shape and form, improved building envelopes, improved efficiencies of individual energy-using devices, alternative energy using systems in buildings, and through enlightened occupant behavior and operation of building systems. Cost information is also provided. Both new buildings and retrofits are discussed. Energy-relevant characteristics of the build-ing envelope include window-to-wall ratios, insulation levels of the walls and roof, thermal resistance and solar heat gain coefficient of windows, degree of air tightness to prevent unwanted exchange of air between the inside and outside, and presence or absence of operable windows that connect to pathways for passive ventilation. Provision of a high-performance envelope is the single most important factor in the design of low-energy buildings, not only because it reduces the heating and cooling loads that the mechanical system must satisfy but also because it permits alternative (and low-energy) systems for meeting the reduced loads. In many cases, equipment with significantly greater efficiency than is currently used is available. However, the savings available through better and alternative energy-using systems (such as alternative heating, ventilation, cooling, and lighting systems) are generally much larger than the savings that can be achieved by using more efficient devices (such as boilers, fans, chillers, and lamps). Because improved building envelopes and improved building systems reduce the need for mechanical heating and cooling equipment, buildings with dramatically lower energy use (50–75% savings) often entail no greater construction cost than conventional design while yielding significant annual energy-cost savings.
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There has been recent interest in green building and development practices and research. Resulting from growing environmental awareness and concerns, mandatory residential green building programs have been implemented nationally at the municipal level and Texas has passed legislation to create a statewide program. However, the impact of greenness on residential property values has not been rigorously evaluated. This study examines residential transaction prices in two cities and finds a statistically significant premium associated with "green" properties. Additionally, there is evidence of a larger premium associated with green properties located in Frisco, Texas, the nation’s first mandatory residential green building program.
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There are a number of driving forces behind energy efficiency. In recent times, the Kyoto Protocol has been the most prominent in bringing energy efficiency to the fore. In some countries, the domestic sector has been highlighted as an area that has a significant potential for improvement. This paper describes the development of a computer model to enable a bottom-up assessment of the technical potential for energy saving in the domestic sector using Ireland's dwelling stock as a case study. Specifically, the national savings in energy costs, CO2 and other environmental emissions, as well as the capital costs resulting from the implementation of various energy-saving retrofit measures across the dwelling stock, are predicted. A feature of the model is that a dynamic modelling process was used to project into the future to predict the extent to which energy and emissions savings might be forgone in exchange for improvements in comfort and health. The computer model is used to assess the physical costs and benefits of a large-scale domestic energy-efficiency programme. The results of the assessment are presented, difficulties in the modelling process are discussed and areas for future research highlighted.
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Key elements of present investment decision-making regarding energy efficiency of new buildings and the refurbishment of existing buildings are the marginal costs of energy efficiency measures and incomplete knowledge of investors and architects about pricing, co-benefits and new technologies. This paper reports on a recently completed empirical study for the Swiss residential sector. It empirically quantifies the marginal costs of energy efficiency investments (i.e. additional insulation, improved window systems, ventilation and heating systems and architectural concepts). For the private sector, first results on the economic valuation of co-benefits such as improved comfort of living, improved indoor air quality, better protection against external noise, etc. may amount to the same order of magnitude as the energy-related benefits are given. The cost–benefit analysis includes newly developed technologies that show large variations in prices due to pioneer market pricing, add-on of learning costs and risk components of the installers. Based on new empirical data on the present cost-situation and past techno-economic progress, the potential of future cost reduction was estimated applying the experience curve concept. The paper shows, for the first time, co-benefits and cost dynamics of energy efficiency investments, of which decision makers in the real estate sector, politics and administrations are scarcely aware.
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There are a number of stimuli behind energy efficiency, not least the Kyoto Protocol. The domestic sector has been highlighted as a key potential area. Improving energy efficiency in this sector also assists alleviating fuel poverty, for research is now demonstrating the strong relationship between poor domestic thermal efficiency, high fuel poverty and poor health and comfort status. Previous research has modelled the energy consumption and technical potential for energy saving resulting from energy-efficiency upgrades in this sector. However, there is virtually no work evaluating the economic benefit of improving households’ thermal comfort post-retrofit. This paper does this for Ireland using a computer-simulation program. A dynamic modelling process is employed which projects into the future predicting the extent to which energy savings are forgone for improvements in comfort.
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Collateral impacts of LULUCF projects, especially those concerning social and environmental aspects, have been recognised as important by the Marrakech Accords. The same applies to the necessity of assessing and, if possible, of quantifying the magnitude of these impacts. This article aims to define, clarify and structure the relevant social, economic and environmental issues to be addressed and to give examples of indicators that ought to be included in the planning, design, implementation, monitoring, and ex post evaluation of LULUCF projects. This is being done by providing a conceptual framework for the assessment of the sustainability of such projects that can be used as a checklist when dealing with concrete projects, and that in principle is applicable to both Annex I and non-Annex I countries. Finally, a set of recommendations is provided to further develop and promote the proposed framework.
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This is the first study focused on the economics of green renovations. Our findings are focused on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings certified under the Existing Building: Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) certification scheme during the 2005-2010 period. We compare rents and occupancy rates, and investigate the types of improvements undertaken, as well as the amount of investments required. We survey building owners on the typical improvements and their attitudes towards the benefits and costs of upgrades. The findings indicate that investments in ‘‘green’' retrofits are incorporated by the market, which is consistent with past studies that mostly focused on new construction. The findings indicate that, on average, investments in the sustainability of commercial buildings are economically viable.
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The ten questions posed in this paper stand out among others after six years of joint and collaborative research, by the authors, on sustainable domestic thermal retrofit policy. This is a very wide field, touching on many disciplines, and we approach it from an interdisciplinary perspective informed by our experience in architecture, engineering, social science, policy studies and economics. Our basic concerns are: what makes a sustainable thermal retrofit; and what kinds of policies can support such retrofitting. ‘Sustainable’ retrofitting, in our view, not only reduces energy consumption and climate-damaging emissions but is also affordable for all, enhances occupant health, and preserves architectural heritage. Often achieving all these is a delicate balancing act. Our questions cover issues such as the appropriate depth of retrofits; the roles and interplays of social theory and physical science in this research; the place of qualitative research; specific social issues such as gender and wealth inequalities; consumer behavior issues such as the rebound effect; and the interesting concept of social desire paths. We conclude by summarizing key issues that policymakers and researchers could consider in order to lift home heating energy savings from their current torpor while also addressing related aspects of sustainability.
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A survey on willingness to pay (WTP) for renewable energy (RE) sources is undertaken for the Lebanese commercial sector. Two hundred samples were collected from various companies across the country, collecting information on 'company characteristics' such as number of employees, space, energy provision and related costs, and information on WTP for RE sources under 5 scenarios that best encapsulate the possible outcomes of integrating RE, whether locally installed or nationally purchased through premiums, in an 'unreliable' electricity sector and one in which reliability is assumed to be secured. Tobit modeling or censored regression modeling was carried out, and results indicate the importance of RE sources in displacing completely the diesel gensets on WTP for RE, as well as the influence of ownership, number of employees and trust in government. The major finding of the paper is that the commercial sector promises to be a significant propagator of RE only if RE sources can displace diesel gensets (through the use of battery storage), which is possible for smaller offices; however for larger ones this comes prohibitively expensive. Demonstration projects are required for larger offices to showcase the savings that can be achieved through RE integration without batteries through the reduction of diesel fuel use alone.
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Residential buildings strongly contribute to global CO2 emissions due to the high energy demand for electricity and heating, particularly in industrialised countries. Within the EU, decentralised heat generation is of particular relevance for future climate policy, as its emissions are not covered by the EU ETS. We conducted a choice experiment concerning energy retrofits for existing houses in Germany. In the experiment, the approximately 400 sampled house owners could either choose a modern heating system or an improved thermal insulation for their home. We used standard and mixed logit specifications to analyse the choice data. We found environmental benefits to have a significant impact on choices of heating systems. However, they played no role in terms of insulation choices. Based on the estimated mixed logit model, we further obtained willingness-to-pay (WTP) measures for CO2 savings.
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In this paper, we identify key drivers and barriers for the adoption of building energy retrofits in Germany, which is promoted by public policy as an important measure to address the future challenges of climate change and energy security. We analyze data from a 2009 survey of more than 400 owner-occupiers of single-family detached, semidetached, and row houses in Germany, that was conducted as a computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI). In the survey, respondents were asked directly for reasons for and against retrofitting their homes, but also faced a choice experiment involving different energy retrofit measures. Overall, we find that house owners who are able to afford it financially, for whom it is profitable, and for whom there is a favorable opportunity are more likely to undertake energy retrofit activities. The latter point seems to be of particular importance in explaining the persistent low retrofit rate in Germany. Our results suggest that professional energy advice could stimulate the demand for building energy retrofits.
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In order to reduce CO2 emissions in line with UK policy, existing UK homes need to be retrofitted to high thermal standards. A large proportion of these homes have traditional or aesthetically pleasing features which people are reluctant to compromise for the sake of thermal efficiency. A minority of such dwellings are protected by statute, but millions are not. There is a dearth of structured discussion on the issues owners of such homes face when planning thermal retrofits. This study begins with a literature review of sustainable development, heritage and aesthetics. It then reports the results of qualitative interviews with retrofitting owners of such homes in Cambridge, UK. It finds homeowners struggling to balance thermal issues against a range of heritage and aesthetic concerns which often overlap or clash. Homeowners develop their own logic in working these through, and their aesthetic convictions strongly influence what happens with retrofitting. The interviews suggest that concern for the heritage embodied in the housing stock can be one reason current policy does not always engage homeowners in retrofitting.
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A willingness to pay (WTP) analysis for renewable-based electricity is undertaken for the Lebanese residential sector. A survey of 600 samples was conducted based on a stratified random sampling method, in which energy use and expenditures, socioeconomic, and demographic characteristics were collected. Four scenarios for WTP for green power were designed to best reflect the possibilities of integrating renewable energy (RE) sources in Lebanon׳s ‘unreliable’ electricity sector; (1) local system covering partial electricity needs, (2) local system covering entire electricity needs, (3) utility-provided green power covering partial electricity needs, and (4) utility-provided green power covering entire electricity needs. The results based on a Tobit model highlight the importance of RE options that displace completely the diesel generator sets, i.e. options 2 and 4. Other parameters such as ownership of the home, age, perception of trust in government institutions, and awareness of RE were also found significant in influencing WTP.
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With global and regional communities outlining their goals for RES use, such as the European Union issuing the Renewable Energy Directive mandating its member countries to achieve a 20% overall share of renewable energy by 2020, it is undoubtedly an important source of energy in the near future. Ultimately however, it boils down to how willing households are in migrating to its use from conventional energy sources. Numerous valuation studies have been done to estimate the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for RES, but these studies do not seem to reach a reasonable consensus on how much households are actually willing to pay. Their findings vary considerably due to differences in, among others, sampling designs, valuation techniques, and types of renewable energy. To address this issue, the main objectives of our paper are to calculate a summary WTP estimate from the many reported estimates, and to explain the determinants of variations in WTP. Using a random-effect meta-analytic approach, we obtain a summary WTP estimate of USD7.16. On average, households are willing to pay an increase of this amount per month over the price of energy they are currently paying for, to shift to RES use. We then specify a random-effect meta-regression model to explain the variations in the households’ WTP. From our model, we find metropolitan residents and North American households to have higher WTP than their rural and Asian counterparts. We also find evidence of genuine underlying empirical effects that more and more households are increasingly willing to pay for RES use. The types of RES do not appear to have any impact on WTP.
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We analyzed consumers of organic and nonorganic tomatoes in Israel with respect to their sociodemographic characteristics and attitudes to organic food consumption (tomatoes). A double-hurdle model was used. Here, consumers could choose either to be organic or nonorganic consumers and/or how much tomatoes they consume. Instead of concentrating on willingness to pay (WTP) for a premium (as is customary for many studies), our respondents were faced with a given premium and were asked about their preferences for organic tomatoes. Results reveal that price premium was not an important component in the decision to be or not to be an organic tomatoes consumer. However, it did prove important with respect to how many tomatoes to consume. While previous studies point to health benefits as the main motive for buying organic food, with concern for the environment and taste mentioned as secondary reasons, our study found that environmental concerns were the primary factor influencing whether or not to buy organic, while price and taste were factors in determining how much organic food to purchase.
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The subject of publicly disclosing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by companies and organizations is gaining momentum and a variety of so called 'GHG Registries' have been developed in countries around the globe, while specific requirements are being adjusted to local circumstances and needs. Different GHG Registries are currently operating worldwide, either as mandatory or as voluntary programs. Israel launched a voluntary initiative in 2010 known as the Israel GHG Reporting and Registering System. The Israel GHG Reporting Protocol was prepared by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Energy and Environment cluster at the Samuel Neaman Institute, in cooperation with a wide range of stakeholders, including other governmental ministries, industry and local government representatives as well as non-governmental organizations. The Israel GHG Protocol is largely based on the World Resources Institute/World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WRI/WBCSD) corporate accounting standard and ISO 14064. While the decision to join the GHG registry in Israel is currently voluntary, once an organization has joined the registry it commits to calculate and report GHG emissions according to the registry's protocol and methodology guidance to allow for consistency in the reported data and for accurate comparison of the results. The Israeli program is intended to help develop capacities and tools for organizations, industry and various other private sector entities to manage their GHG emissions by annually calculating and submitting their emission inventories which will also help them to estimate the potential for emissions reduction. This paper focuses on the analysis of the GHG emission reports submitted for 2010, 2011 and 2012 by participating companies and organizations and on how these data enable the reporting organizations to develop their databases, improve their risk management capabilities and identify opportunities for energy and process efficiency improvements that could lead to GHG emissions reduction.
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The demand for green buildings and to what extent firms accept to pay a premium price compared to conventional buildings is a lively debate and highly relevant for investors and policy makers. Policy instruments like the Swiss CO2-enactment and the Swiss Building Program encourage and incentivize investments in energy efficient properties. Based on a corporate real estate survey, I investigate the premium percentage price firms are willing to pay for green buildings. I distinguish between the decisions to lease, purchase, or retrofit a property. On average, I find that Swiss corporations are willing to pay a premium price of 3.0% for leasing, 4.75% for purchasing, and 5.0% for retrofitting. Using censored regression analysis I find that, depending on firm characteristics, the announced premium price ranges from 1.3 to 7.9 percent compared to conventional properties. My results indicate that firms from the building and financial service industries, as well as public corporations and authorities signal the highest willingness to pay.
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Better methods of characterizing and addressing heterogeneity in preferences and decision making are needed to stimulate reductions in household greenhouse gas emissions. Four residential energy efficiency programs were delivered consecutively in the Region of Waterloo, Canada, between 1999 and 2011, and each offered a unique combination of information, financial reward structure, and price. A natural quasi-experimental intervention design was employed to assess differences in outcomes across these program structures. Participation at the initial (evaluation by an energy advisor) and follow-up (verification of retrofit) stages, and the material characteristics (e.g., energy performance) were measured and compared between the groups of houses included in each program at each stage. The programs appealed to people with different types of material concerns; each phase of the program was associated with houses with a different mix of material characteristics and depths of recommended and achieved changes. While a performance-based reward attracted fewer houses at each stage than a larger list-based reward, older houses with poorer energy performance were included at each stage. The findings support experimentation with program designs to target sub-populations of housing stock; future program designs should experiment more carefully and with larger performance-based rewards and test parallels with potential carbon market structures.
Article
Green buildings are expected to require lower operating costs, provide better indoor environment and have a lower impact on the environment than conventional buildings. Consequently, if renting or buying green property is more beneficial, a customer may be willing to pay extra for green apartment. The aim of this paper is to study stated and rational willingness to pay for green apartments in Sweden. A database consisting of responses from 477 occupants living in green and conventional multi-family buildings was used to investigate the existence of WTP and to test the difference in opinion between respondents living in green or conventional buildings and condominiums or rental apartments. The responses indicate that people are prepared to pay more for very low-energy buildings but not as willing to pay for a building with an environmental certificate. It was found that interest in and the perceived importance of energy and environmental factors affect the stated WTP. The results indicate that a stated willingness to pay for low-energy buildings of 5% can be considered a rational investment decision.
Article
The aim of this study is to determine preferences for the environmental factors of residential buildings by using two different methods: the conjoint analysis and ranking method. We tried to identify consumers' monetary value regarding environmental performance by testing their Marginal Willing to Pay (MWTP). A survey was conducted in Seoul, Korea to clarify the preference and monetary value of four selected attributes representing environmental performance. These attributes are reduction of energy bills, reduction of CO2 emissions, reduction of volatile organic compound emissions, and application of information technology facilities. The result can be summarized as follows. The MWTP for 1% reduction of CO2 emission is estimated about $377 USD, being 2 times higher than that for reduction of VOC emissions and almost same as that for the reduction of energy bills. The energy bill is most preferred and IT facilities are least preferred in ranking method. Preferences vary according to respondents' socio-demographic factors and the numerical information in conjoint analysis makes strongly reflect them.
Article
This paper reviews the thermal performance of the existing UK housing stock, the main fabric efficiency incentive schemes and the barriers to obtaining deep energy and CO2 savings throughout the stock. The UK faces a major challenge to improve the thermal performance of its existing housing stock. Millions of dwellings possess ‘hard-to-treat’ solid walls and have glazing which is not cost effective to improve. A range of fabric efficiency incentive schemes exist, but many do not target the full range of private and social housing. From now on, the Green Deal will be the UK's key energy efficiency policy. However, the scheme is forecasted to have low consumer appeal and low incentives for investors. Moreover, calculated Green Deal loan repayments will be reliant upon estimated energy savings, yet it is claimed that retrofit measures may only be half as effective as anticipated due to a lack of monitoring, poor quality installation and the increased use of heating following refurbishment. Looking to Germany, there has been success through the Passivhaus standard, but the UK currently lacks appropriate skills and cost effective components to replicate this approach. In addition, the embodied energy in retrofit products and materials threatens to counter operational savings.
Article
Despite the enormous potential for savings, there is little penetration of market-based solutions in the residential energy efficiency market. We hypothesize that there is a failure in the residential efficiency improvement market: due to lack of customer knowledge and capital to invest in improvements, there is unrecovered savings. In this paper, we model a means of extracting profit from those unrecovered energy savings with a market-based residential energy services company, or RESCO. We use a Monte Carlo simulation of the cost and performance of various improvements along with a hypothetical business model to derive general information about the financial viability of these companies. Despite the large amount of energy savings potential, we find that an average contract length with residential customers needs to be nearly 35 years to recoup the cost of the improvements. However, our modeling of an installer knowledge parameter indicates that experience plays a large part in minimizing the time to profitability for each home. Large numbers of inexperienced workers driven by government investment in this area could result in the installation of improvements with long payback periods, whereas a free market might eliminate companies making poor decisions.
Article
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is a nonprofit, non-partisan, organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting both economic prosperity and environmental protection. ACEEE fulfills its mission by conducting in-depth technical and policy assessments; advising policymakers and program managers; working collaboratively with businesses, public interest groups, and other organizations; publishing books, conference proceedings, and reports; organizing conferences and workshops; and educating consumers and businesses. Our comments are divided into three parts: Major Items, Details, and Conclusions. Major Items Installation and Verification: ACEEE agrees that there is insufficient time to move toward a specification that includes installation components for 2006. Thus, we accept the decision to move forward with an equipment-only specification, but only for 2006. It is unlikely that the performance improvement of this specification will lead to energy savings as large as 10%. However, because it is so well established that installation defects (sizing, refrigerant charge, and duct problems) are responsible for at least 20% - 25% excess energy consumption in both cooling and heating, our endorsement is contingent on adding a solid installation and verification component for 2007. We are convinced that verification can be done remotely, and in ways that encourage improved practices in the field. Performance Levels: ACEEE is concerned with the proposed changes in Split System EER and HSPF from Draft 1, and by the basis for these changes. Table 1 summarizes the levels published in Drafts 1 and 2:
Article
In recent years, eleven studies have been conducted on the technical, economic, and/or achievable potential for energy efficiency in the U.S. These studies cover many regions (e.g. California, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, the Southwest and the U.S. as a whole), sectors (residential, commercial, and sometimes industrial), energy types (electricity and/or natural gas) and time frames (e.g., 5, 10 and 20 years). This paper summarizes the results of these different studies and then compares and contrasts them to tease out overarching findings. The 11 recent studies examined in this paper show that a very substantial technical, economic and achievable energy efficiency potential remains available in the U.S. Across all sectors, these studies show a median technical potential of 33% for electricity and 40% for gas, and median economic potentials for electricity and gas of 20% and 22% respectively. The median achievable potential is 24% for electricity (an average of 1.2% per year) and 9% for gas (an average of 0.5% per year). We compare the achievable potential findings to recent-year actual savings from portfolios of electric and natural gas efficiency programs in leading states and find substantial consistency. The paper concludes with several recommendations for future energy efficiency potential work.
Article
For comparing efficiency programs to conventional supply investments, metrics such as the "total resource cost" (TRC) are used. Such comparisons of costs and benefits have provided a generally accepted decision framework. However, sometimes that framework may disadvantage particular types of programs and lead to long-term lost opportunities for energy savings. This paper focuses on the case in which the conventional TRC methodology is used to evaluate comprehensive whole-house retrofit programs. In those programs, such as those of the national Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® initiative, participant and program investments are undertaken to gain a range of non-energy benefits in addition to maximum energy cost savings. This paper analyzes data on homeowners' motivations for undertaking such retrofits. The results illustrate the potential for increased energy-savings that can result from incorporating non-energy motivations into energy efficiency program design and evaluation. We suggest a way to use such motivational findings, if borne out by more extensive research, to more accurately assess returns on investments made in these types of programs. This proposal involves adjusting the total participant costs in the TRC and related tests to remove the effect of non-energy motivations. This more fairly balances the energy-saving benefit against its appropriate share of participant costs and avoid the bias in TRC-type tests. The potential value of such modifications in standard evaluation procedures justifies serious study of buyer motivations based on our initial results, possibly leading to more effective residential program portfolios and greater energy efficiency gains in the nation's huge existing housing stock.
Article
The paper presents an economic study of the potential for energy conservation in Israel. We analyze energy conservation policies targeted at the household sector, focusing on the economic feasibility of scrapping old household electrical appliances, and considering the effect of such policies at both the household and the macro-economic level. The results of our analysis show that the appliance that provides the most potential conservation is the air conditioner (used for both heating and cooling). A scrapping program for old air conditioners passes a cost benefit analysis (CBA) even when external benefits are excluded from the calculation. When external benefits are included, scrapping programs for both washing machines and dishwashers pass the test as well. According to our findings, the annual economic benefit of a program involving the scrapping of 100,000 air conditioners, 45,000 washing machines and 15,000 dishwashers per annum over 10 years ranges from 246 million New Israeli Shekels (NIS) in the first year of implementation to 693 million in the tenth year. Most of the savings are derived from the scrapping of air conditioners.
Article
In April 2010 the Tokyo Metropolitan Government launched the Tokyo Cap-and-Trade Program to reduce energy consumption-related CO2</ inf> emissions at the city level. This is the world's first cap-and-trade programme to cover buildings in the commercial, industrial and public sectors. Its main aim is to reduce CO2 emissions from energy consumption in existing buildings in urban areas; therefore, it is called an 'urban cap-and-trade programme'. The appropriateness and effectiveness of this demand-side mechanism are examined, as well as the key policy and strategy components for introducing this new mechanism. Crucial factors for the successful introduction of this programme include the implementation of a mandatory reporting programme prior to the cap-and-trade programme and a consultation process involving open discussions among stakeholders for creating a consensus. Actual outcomes of the programme will take several years to assess; however, given the significant impact of growing carbon emissions from existing urban buildings, an urban cap-and-trade mechanism can be a worthwhile action at the level of local governance. Based on these lessons, other cities can consider this urban cap-and-trade scheme as a viable policy instrument.
Article
A large potential for energy savings exists in the Danish residential building stock due to the fact that 75% of the buildings were constructed before 1979 when the first important demands for energy performance of building were introduced. It is also a fact that many buildings in Denmark face comprehensive renovations in the coming years and in connection with this renovation process energy-saving measures can be implemented relatively inexpensive and cost effective. This opportunity should be used to insure the buildings in the future as far as energy consumption is concerned. This paper gives a short account of the technical energy-saving possibilities that are present in existing dwellings and presents a financial methodology used for assessing energy-saving measures. In order to estimate the total savings potential detailed calculations have been performed in a case with two typical buildings representing the residential building stock and based on these calculations an assessment of the energy-saving potential is performed. A profitable savings potential of energy used for space heating of about 80% is identified over 45 years (until 2050) within the residential building stock if the energy performances are upgraded when buildings are renovated.
Article
As the number and complexities of green building developments are mainly driven by market demands, understanding of end-user behaviors towards their development eventually should play a crucial role on determining their successes. However, very few studies have been attempted to explore end-user behaviors towards green building development. This study successfully applied discrete choice experiments to reveal whether residents with green experience will have different preference and willingness-to-pay values for enhancements on various aspects of environmental performance in green buildings. Generally, both green and conventional residents had strong preferences and were willing to pay more for improving various aspects of environmental performance in green residential developments. They are found to be willing to pay more for energy conservation, than indoor air quality improvement, noise level reduction, landscape area enlargement, or water conservation. No significant differences are found in the preferences between green and conventional residents for energy conservation, indoor air quality improvement, indoor noise reduction, or water conservation, However, green residents were found to be willing to pay significantly less than the conventional residents for enlarging the landscape area within a residential development, despite it was perceived by green residents as one of the major elements that differentiate a green from a conventional development.
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The aim of this paper is to analyse the profitability of energy-efficient retrofit investments in the Swiss residential building sector from the house owner's perspective. Different energy price expectations, policy instruments such as subsidies, income tax deduction and a carbon tax, as well as potential future cost degression of energy efficiency measures were taken into account. The discounted cash flow method was used for the investment analysis of different retrofit packages applied to a model building scheduled for renovation, i.e. a single-family house constructed between 1948 and 1975. The results show that present Swiss policy instruments push investments for energy-efficient retrofitting to profitability. Cost degression has a minor significance for investment profitability. However, the most relevant factor for the investment analysis is the expected energy price. Expecting a future fuel oil price at the level of 2005, efficiency investments are close to profitability even without policy support. If higher energy prices were expected, energy-efficient retrofitting would be an attractive investment opportunity.
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Energy Efficient (EE) appliances such as Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs and Renewable Energy (RE), namely solar Photovoltaic (PV) can help to reduce Operational Energy (OE) in a house. In addition, a house should also incorporate Passive Architecture (PA) design strategies which in the hot and humid tropical climate, mean avoiding direct heat gain, encouraging natural cross ventilation and optimising the abundant daylight. Nevertheless, reducing OE must also mean economic gain to households to encourage their participation. Common economic gauges such as Return on Investment, Payback Period, Cost Benefit Analysis, Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Cost are not suitable to validate OE options in households. These economic gauges approach economic assessment as an end-result on the cost side of the product and may result for good intention to be shelved, primarily because EE equipment and RE have high capital cost compared with the alternatives. On the other hand, reducing OE in houses is actually a continual progression from the status quo and there is always a marginal gain in doing so. The challenge is to know how much is the marginal benefit against the marginal cost of investing in EE and RE. In Economics, the ratio of Marginal Cost (MC) and Marginal Benefits (MB) measure additional benefits of every additional costs of investment at a specific level of production and consumption; and Economists suggests that effective gain and loss should be compared to the status quo, i.e., Relative Position (RP). The Economics theories of MC, MB and RP are being adapted to measure the progression of reducing OE. The living/dining area in two types of houses: with and without PA design strategies are simulated to use conventional incandescent light bulbs and CFL as well as solar PV in lieu of the mains electricity supply. The power requirement for artificial lighting in every case is translated into monetary value and the ratio of MB against MC for each case shows the gain or loss in investment to reduce OE in a 30-year period. The result suggests that the value of MB/MC is high when both houses use CFL, i.e., approximately (Ringgit Malaysia) RM2.5 gain for every RM1 cost. It is also found that investment in solar PV benefits the most in the PA case that uses superior CFL bulbs, i.e., approximately RM2 gain for every RM1 cost. Despite the high capital cost of EE equipment and RE, MB/MC approach seems to make economic sense for household to invest in reducing OE at certain stages.
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This paper uses a choice experiment to evaluate the consumers' willingness to pay for energy-saving measures in Switzerland's residential buildings. These measures include air renewal (ventilation) systems and insulation of windows and facades. Two groups of respondents consisting respectively of 163 apartment tenants and 142 house owners were asked to choose between their housing status quo and each one of the several hypothetical situations with different attributes and prices. The estimation method is based on a fixed-effects logit model. The results suggest that the benefits of the energy-saving attributes are significantly valued by the consumers. These benefits include both individual energy savings and environmental benefits as well as comfort benefits namely, thermal comfort, air quality and noise protection.
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One of the cheapest ways to reduce CO2 emissions is thermal renovation of existing homes. Germany is a world leader in this project, with a strict building code, generous state subsidies, and an advanced renovation infrastructure. The effects of its policies are here explored in the light of progressive tightening of the building code, and the strict criteria for subsidies. Data on costs and outcomes of residential building renovations are presented from published reports on renovation projects, and cross-checked with projects investigated directly. Comparisons are made in terms of euros invested for every kilowatt hour of heating energy saved over the lifetime of the renovations, for standards ranging from 150 kWh (the lowest standard) to 15 kWh (the highest) of primary energy use per square metre of floor area per year. It is found that the lowest standard is an order of magnitude more cost-effective than the highest, in terms of both energy saved per euro invested, and return on investment over the lifetime of the renovations, regardless of fuel prices. It is argued that this throws into question Germany's policy of progressively regulating for higher renovation standards, and offering subsidies only for projects that go beyond the minimum standard.
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The US building sector can ‘produce’ 30–50% of its energy needs by more efficient use of energy, ie by conservation. The cost of such energy conservation is usually below that of imported oil or new electric generation capacity. Yet, paradoxically, consumer adoption of this type of ‘energy’ is quite low. This stems from energy analysis traditionally dominated by engineering and economic perspectives, and ignoring a critically relevant behavioural perspective. Unless all three perspectives are integrated, little can be expected in the way of speedy market penetration of energy conservation. In this article the engineering, economic and behavioural perspectives are discussed, and the importance of integration is emphasized. The framework for diffusion of innovations is shown to be useful in an understanding of how demand for energy conservation forms and spreads. Specific recommendations to speed the adoption of energy conservation are outlined.
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The political discussion on energy efficiency is focusing more and more on the building sector due to its susceptibility to potential market failures like the negative external pollution effects of CO2 emission. Using a discrete choice approach, this paper aims at deriving factors which increase the willingness to pay (WTP) for energy efficiency in the case of an upcoming move. A multinominal logit model is used to analyse micro data of a survey among more than 200 German households. The estimation results suggest that the WTP is not mainly determined by socioeconomic attributes like household income or formal education, but rather by environmental concerns and energy awareness. Although there is evidence for similarities to research on WTP for green daily consumer goods, the building sector is not clearly perceived as an essential possibility to contribute to climate protection.
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We propose a conceptual framework for understanding the (lack of) energy saving efforts of private households based on Bandura's (1986) social cognitive theory Results from applying this framework on a sample of Danish private electricity consumers are presented and it is concluded (a) that households' electricity consumption depends on both structural and motivational factors, (b) that their electricity saving effort depends on the strength of their internalized norms or self-expectations and on self-efficacy related factors, and (c) that there are predictable patterns of interaction among household members that influence their electricity consumption The results suggest two approaches to promote electricity saving in households (1) to change the socio-structural environment to be more facilitating for energy saving and empower householders to be more effective in their striving towards this goal through improved feedback about their household's electricity consumption and (2) social norms marketing, communicating social expectations and others' successful electricity saving achievements (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
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This paper develops a new systematic classification and explanation of barriers and drivers to energy efficiency. Using an `actor oriented approach', the paper tries to identify (i) the drivers and barriers that affect the success or failure of energy efficiency investments and (ii) the institutions that are responsible for the emergence of these barriers and drivers. This taxonomy aims to synthesise ideas from three broad perspectives, viz., micro (project/end user), meso (organization), and macro (state, market, civil society). The paper develops a systematic framework by looking at the issues from the perspective of different actors. This not only aids the understanding of barriers and drivers; it also provides scope for appropriate policy interventions. This focus will help policy-makers evaluate to what extent future interventions may be warranted and how one can judge the success of particular interventions.