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Homeowners' Preferences for Adopting Residential Heating Systems: A Discrete Choice Analysis for Germany

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  • Michelsen, Carl Christian

    ()
    (E.ON Energy Research Center, Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), RWTH Aachen University)

  • Madlener, Reinhard

    ()
    (E.ON Energy Research Center, Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), RWTH Aachen University)

Abstract

Space heating accounts for a large fraction of the primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions of residential buildings. Besides targeting the insulation standard, residential heating systems (RHS) based on renewable energy sources offer the potential to reduce energy demand for space heating. Therefore, understanding the determinants of the homeowners’ adoption decisions in favor of RHS becomes increasingly important. In this paper, we analyze the influence of preferences about RHS-specific attributes on the adoption decision. Moreover, we control for the influence of socio-demographic, home and spatial characteristics. For this purpose, we specify the discrete appliance choice as a multinomial logit model. We apply the model to representative survey data for Germany. Our findings show that there are different drivers for the adoption of RHS in newly built and existing 1- and 2-family homes, and that the importance of key drivers also differs across groups of homeowners and RHS, respectively. First, we find that adopters of a gas- and oil-fired condensing boiler with solar thermal support have a strong preference for energy savings, while adopters of a heat pump or wood pellet-fired boiler prefer being more independent from fossil fuels. Second, we find preferences about RHS-specific attributes to be highly relevant for owners of newly built homes, while evidence for an influence of the control variables is scarce. Third, we find that socio-demographic, home and spatial characteristics have a higher and more differentiated impact in the case of existing homes. These variables predetermine the decision context and leave less leeway for the influence of preferences when replacing a RHS in an existing home.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN) in its series FCN Working Papers with number 9/2011.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:fcnwpa:2011_009

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Keywords: Technology adoption; Consumer behavior; residential heating systems; space heating; discrete choice;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Hackbarth, André & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "Consumer Preferences for Alternative Fuel Vehicles: A Discrete Choice Analysis," FCN Working Papers 20/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  2. Kraas, Birk & Schroedter-Homscheidt, Marion & Pulvermüller, Benedikt & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "Economic Assessment of a Concentrating Solar Power Forecasting System for Participation in the Spanish Electricity Market," FCN Working Papers 12/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  3. Achtnicht, Martin & Madlener, Reinhard, 2012. "Factors influencing German house owners' preferences on energy retrofits," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-042, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Michelsen, Carl Christian & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "Homeowners' Motivation to Adopt a Residential Heating System: A Principal-Component Analysis," FCN Working Papers 17/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), revised Jan 2013.
  5. Madlener, Reinhard & Hauertmann, Maximilian, 2011. "Rebound Effects in German Residential Heating: Do Ownership and Income Matter?," FCN Working Papers 2/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).

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