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Homeowners' Motivation to Adopt a Residential Heating System: A Principal-Component Analysis

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Heating demand accounts for a large fraction of the overall energy demand of private households in Germany. A better understanding of the adoption and diffusion of energy-efficient and renewables-based residential heating systems (RHS) is of high policy relevance, particularly against the background of climate change, security of energy supply and increasing energy prices. In this paper, we explore the multi-dimensionality of the homeowners’ motivation to decide between competing RHS. A questionnaire survey (N=2440) conducted in 2010 among homeowners who had recently installed a RHS provides the empirical foundation. Principal component analysis shows that 25 items capturing different adoption motivations can be grouped around six dimensions: (1) cost aspects, (2) general attitude towards the RHS, (3) government grant, (4) reactions to external threats (i.e. environmental or energy supply security considerations), (5) comfort considerations, and (6) influence of peers. Moreover, a cluster analysis with the identified motivational factors as segmentation variables reveals three adopter types: (1) the convenience-oriented, (2) the consequences-aware, and (3) the multilaterally-motivated RHS adopter. Finally, we show that the influence of the motivational factors on the adoption decision also differs by certain characteristics of the homeowner and features of the home.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:fcnwpa:2011_017
    Note: revised January 2013
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    1. Dergiades, Theologos & Madlener, Reinhard & Christofidou, Georgia, 2012. "The Nexus between Natural Gas Spot and Futures Prices at NYMEX: Do Weather Shocks and Non-Linear Causality in Low Frequencies Matter?," FCN Working Papers 17/2012, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), revised Sep 2013.
    2. Rohlfs, Wilko & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "Multi-Commodity Real Options Analysis of Power Plant Investments: Discounting Endogenous Risk Structures," FCN Working Papers 22/2011, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    3. Michelsen, Carl Christian & Madlener, Reinhard, 2013. "Motivational factors influencing the homeowners’ decisions between residential heating systems: An empirical analysis for Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 221-233.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Residential heating systems; technology adoption motivation; consumer behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • R22 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Other Demand

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