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A qualitative evaluation of policy instruments used to improve energy performance of existing private dwellings in the Netherlands


  • Murphy, Lorraine
  • Meijer, Frits
  • Visscher, Henk


Climate change policies in the Netherlands recognise the importance of existing dwellings. Efforts to gain these energy savings are led at national level by policy instruments such as the Energy Performance Certificate, covenants, economic and information tools. These instruments reflect a policy style described as consensus based and incentivising. However, this approach has been subject to criticism with suggestions that alternatives are required. As a first step towards conceptualising alternatives previous evaluations and stakeholder interviews are used to assess instruments. Elements from the theory based evaluation method combined with concepts from policy instrument and energy policy literature form an evaluation framework. Results demonstrate weak impact of some key instruments. Underlying theories associated with instruments are often lost during implementation or remain unsubstantiated. Policy instrument and energy policy concepts are evident but are far from pervasive. Results show that current instruments are poorly equipped to forge a long-term energy saving strategy for existing dwellings. It is further demonstrated that complexity with existing dwellings is not only limited to frequently cited barriers but to the intricacies of designing and operating a well-orchestrated instrument mix.

Suggested Citation

  • Murphy, Lorraine & Meijer, Frits & Visscher, Henk, 2012. "A qualitative evaluation of policy instruments used to improve energy performance of existing private dwellings in the Netherlands," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 459-468.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:45:y:2012:i:c:p:459-468
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.02.056

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Beerepoot, Milou & Beerepoot, Niels, 2007. "Government regulation as an impetus for innovation: Evidence from energy performance regulation in the Dutch residential building sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 4812-4825, October.
    2. Hoppe, T. & Bressers, J.Th.A. & Lulofs, K.R.D., 2011. "Local government influence on energy conservation ambitions in existing housing sites--Plucking the low-hanging fruit?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 916-925, February.
    3. Kern, Florian & Smith, Adrian, 2008. "Restructuring energy systems for sustainability? Energy transition policy in the Netherlands," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 4093-4103, November.
    4. Gram-Hanssen, Kirsten & Bartiaux, Francoise & Michael Jensen, Ole & Cantaert, Madeleine, 2007. "Do homeowners use energy labels? A comparison between Denmark and Belgium," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2879-2888, May.
    5. Mlecnik, Erwin & Visscher, Henk & van Hal, Anke, 2010. "Barriers and opportunities for labels for highly energy-efficient houses," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4592-4603, August.
    6. Tambach, Milly & Hasselaar, Evert & Itard, Laure, 2010. "Assessment of current Dutch energy transition policy instruments for the existing housing stock," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 981-996, February.
    7. Noailly, Joëlle & Batrakova, Svetlana, 2010. "Stimulating energy-efficient innovations in the Dutch building sector: Empirical evidence from patent counts and policy lessons," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(12), pages 7803-7817, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rogge, Karoline S. & Reichardt, Kristin, 2016. "Policy mixes for sustainability transitions: An extended concept and framework for analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1620-1635.
    2. Berardi, Umberto, 2013. "Stakeholders’ influence on the adoption of energy-saving technologies in Italian homes," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 520-530.
    3. van Middelkoop, Manon & Vringer, Kees & Visser, Hans, 2017. "Are Dutch residents ready for a more stringent policy to enhance the energy performance of their homes?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 269-282.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:6:p:919-:d:100063 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Koo, Choongwan & Hong, Taehoon & Lee, Minhyun & Seon Park, Hyo, 2014. "Development of a new energy efficiency rating system for existing residential buildings," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 218-231.
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:5:p:686-:d:96881 is not listed on IDEAS


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