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Factors influencing German house owners' preferences on energy retrofits

Achtnicht, Martin, Madlener, Reinhard
Energy Policy 2014 v.68 pp. 254-263
climate change, energy, public policy, surveys, Germany
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.