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Heating system upgrades: The role of knowledge, socio-demographics, building attributes and energy infrastructure

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  • Curtis, John
  • McCoy, Daire
  • Aravena, Claudia

Abstract

In the context of moving to a low-carbon economy there is wide interest among policymakers to improve knowledge of decisions surrounding residential heating systems. This research examines four aspects of decision-making with respect to heating system upgrades: home-owner decisions on whether to upgrade, decisions on fuel choice, fuel switching patterns, and an examination of the reasons why home-owners make these decisions. Among the key findings are that proximity to energy infrastructure, e.g. gas network, is an important determinant of residential heating systems upgrades, including fuel choice. With one exception no clear trend emerges on the likelihood of a broad range of socio-demographic variables, including age, income, and working status on home-owner decisions. A cohort of home-owners defined across a few socio-demographic characteristics, including mortgage holders, are predisposed to investing in a heating system upgrade compared to their peers but for reasons unknown do not invest. We also find that environmental concerns, across a number of dimensions, are not an important determining factor in either the decision to upgrade or the subsequent choice of heating system. Information on heating system alternatives is critical for good decision-making but we find that home-owners do not always rely on independent energy consultants for guidance.

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  • Curtis, John & McCoy, Daire & Aravena, Claudia, 2018. "Heating system upgrades: The role of knowledge, socio-demographics, building attributes and energy infrastructure," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 183-196.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:120:y:2018:i:c:p:183-196
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.05.036
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    2. Grilli, Gianluca & Curtis, John, 2021. "Encouraging pro-environmental behaviours: A review of methods and approaches," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
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    4. Fajardy, M. & Reiner, D M., 2020. "An overview of the electrification of residential and commercial heating and cooling and prospects for decarbonisation," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 20120, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    5. Schleich, Joachim & Faure, Corinne & Guetlein, Marie-Charlotte & Tu, Gengyang, 2020. "Household preferences for new heating systems: Insights from a multi-country discrete choice experiment," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S05/2020, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    6. Ortega-Izquierdo, Margarita & Paredes-Salvador, Andrés & Montoya-Rasero, Carlos, 2019. "Analysis of the decision making factors for heating and cooling systems in Spanish households," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 175-185.
    7. Curtis, John & Tovar, Miguel Angel & Grilli, Gianluca, 2020. "Access to and consumption of natural gas: Spatial and socio-demographic drivers," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
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