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Exploring the diffusion of low energy houses: An empirical study in the European Union

: Olsthoorn, Mark; Schleich, Joachim; Faure, Corinne
: Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung -ISI-, Karlsruhe

Fulltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-5033509 (450 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: 5bb85a2311966e5eabb177319236ec37
Created on: 24.7.2018

Karlsruhe: Fraunhofer ISI, 2018, 34 pp.
Working Paper Sustainability and Innovation, S 16/2018
European Commission EC
Horizon 2020; 649875; BRISKEE
Behavioural Response to Investment Risks in Energy Efficiency
Study, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ISI ()
Passive houses; Low-energy houses; Adoption; Buildings; Risk; Patience

Diffusion of low-energy houses is an important part of energy and climate policy in the European Union (EU) and in individual EU countries. Key barriers to the adoption of low-energy houses include additional construction costs and uncertainty sur-rounding actual energy and cost savings. In this paper, we econometrically analyze determinants of low-energy house adoption, including time and risk preferences. We rely on original data from a large survey conducted among households in eight EU countries. To our knowledge, this is the first empirical study of low-energy building adoption to rely on a demographically representative sample. Our set of covariates includes parameters of time and risk preferences that were elicited via state-of-the-art incentivized multiple price list experiments and via self-assessment scales. We find mixed results for the effects of time discounting on low-energy house adoption. Risk preferences do appear to matter: as risk proneness increases, so does the adoption of zero net or energy plus building (but not passive houses). Consistent with the low-cost hypothesis about environmental attitude and social norms.