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

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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Paper provided by E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN) in its series FCN Working Papers with number 17/2011.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision: Jan 2013
Handle: RePEc:ris:fcnwpa:2011_017
Note: revised January 2013
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  1. Decker, Thomas & Zapilko, Marina & Menrad, Klaus, 2010. "Purchasing Behaviour Related To Heating Systems In Germany With Special Consideration Of Consumers' Ecological Attitudes," Conference Papers 137596, University of Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, Straubing Centre of Science.
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  13. Michelsen, Carl Christian & Madlener, Reinhard, 2012. "Homeowners' preferences for adopting innovative residential heating systems: A discrete choice analysis for Germany," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1271-1283.
  14. Scarpa, Riccardo & Willis, Ken, 2010. "Willingness-to-pay for renewable energy: Primary and discretionary choice of British households' for micro-generation technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 129-136, January.
  15. Fred D. Davis & Richard P. Bagozzi & Paul R. Warshaw, 1989. "User Acceptance of Computer Technology: A Comparison of Two Theoretical Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(8), pages 982-1003, August.
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  17. Glenn Milligan & Martha Cooper, 1985. "An examination of procedures for determining the number of clusters in a data set," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 159-179, June.
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