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Exploring the diffusion of low energy houses: An empirical study in the European Union

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  • Olsthoorn, Mark
  • Schleich, Joachim
  • Faure, Corinne

Abstract

Diffusion of low-energy houses is an important part of energy and climate policy in the European Union (EU) and in individual EU countries. Key barriers to the adoption of low-energy houses include additional construction costs and uncertainty surrounding actual energy and cost savings. In this paper, we econometrically analyze determinants of low-energy house adoption, including time and risk preferences. We rely on original data from a large survey conducted among households in eight EU countries. To our knowledge, this is the first empirical study of low-energy building adoption to rely on a demographically representative sample. Our set of covariates includes parameters of time and risk preferences that were elicited via state-of-the-art incen-tivized multiple price list experiments and via self-assessment scales. We find mixed results for the effects of time discounting on low-energy house adoption. Risk preferences do appear to matter: as risk proneness increases, so does the adoption of zero net or energy plus building (but not passive houses). Consistent with the low-cost hypothesis about environmental attitude and action, we find no results for environmental attitudes and social norms.

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  • Olsthoorn, Mark & Schleich, Joachim & Faure, Corinne, 2018. "Exploring the diffusion of low energy houses: An empirical study in the European Union," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S16/2018, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fisisi:s162018
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    Cited by:

    1. Schleich, Joachim & Faure, Corinne & Meissner, Thomas, 2019. "Adoption of retrofit measures among home-owners in EU countries: The effects of access to capital and debt aversion," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S08/2019, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    2. Faure, Corinne & Schleich, Joachim, 2020. "Poor energy ratings when appliances convey?," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S02/2020, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    3. Faure, Corinne & Schleich, Joachim, 2020. "Poor energy ratings when appliances convey?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).

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    Keywords

    passive houses; low-energy houses; adoption; buildings; risk; patience;

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