Adoption of energy efficient technologies by households – Barriers, policies and agent-based modelling studies

Laurens X.W. Hesselink, Emile J.L. Chappin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)
186 Downloads (Pure)


Increasing the adoption of energy efficient technologies by households is one of the formulated strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This paper presents a systematic review of agent-based modelling studies on the adoption of energy efficiency by households. It starts with an overview of barriers for adoption, of energy efficiency policies, energy efficiency model types. Afterwards, an analysis is given of technologies modelled, policies simulated, decision-making theories included, and the use of empirical data. An overview is presented of how technologies, barriers and policies relate in the models. Furthermore, the core policy recommendations from existing models are presented. The analysis shows that the reviewed studies predominantly focus on a subset of barriers – a lack of capital, a lack of information, high upfront cost, ignorance, inertia and other priorities. So far, agent-based models have focused on how subsidies, technology bans and information campaigns influence energy efficiency adoption. There is ample opportunity for future agent-based modelling research on energy efficiency adoption policy by studying other residential technologies, other barriers, and other policies that fit the agent-based modelling paradigm well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-41
Number of pages13
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Adoption barriers
  • Agent-based models
  • Energy efficiency policy
  • Energy efficient technology
  • Literature review


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