Unveiling homeowners’ behaviour towards energy retrofits: from behavioural and transaction cost perspectives

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a workshop, seminar, course or other meeting


Online lecture hosted by the Urban Energy Institute, moderated by Henk Visscher.

The residential sector can contribute substantially to mitigating GHG emissions through large scale energy retrofits. Despite the significant energy saving potential, the retrofit rate in the residential sector in the Netherlands remains very low. Among different sectors, the Dutch owner-occupied housing sector accounted for 57% of the residential stock in 2020. In this subsector, homeowners are entirely responsible for carrying out the energy retrofits. Moreover, the energy retrofit processes are complex and homeowners face issues, such as, finding financial support, reliable information and contractors. The complexities in conducting energy retrofits may hinder homeowners from the continuation of the process and their expected benefits. Behavioural aspects and transaction cost (TC) factors are among the main influencing factors in the consumers' decision-making processes. Behavioural factors mainly illustrate a range of personal, contextual, and external factors influencing homeowners' decision-making processes. It includes cognitive awareness and biases, attitudes and beliefs, experience, and skills, homeowners' features, socio-demographics, property characteristics, other people's behaviours. The transaction cost (TC) means any hidden cost that affects the decision-making but is not included in the direct physical costs of renovation services and products. Our research indicates the significant importance of these behavioural factors and TC barriers. The main findings include: (1) the lack of energy retrofits tailored to the needs of a particular group of buildings and households, (2) the need to use the right message and the right messenger of the particular household group to promote energy retrofits, (3) the inadequate implementation of behavioural interventions and nudges to promote energy retrofit, and (4) the lack of integrated financial, informational and technical support, especially for homeowners interested in energy retrofits. The purpose of this presentation is to explain in detail the application of the behavioural insights and transaction cost factors on the energy retrofit decision making and renovation processes and the potential misalignments in the current energy policy.
Period9 Mar 2022
Held atUrban Energy Institute, Netherlands