An Investigation of Occupants' Energy Perceptions in Energy Efficient Retrofitted Residential Buildings: A Review Paper

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Buildings are the main sector in energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Retrofitting of existing building has been identified as one of the significant strategies for reducing the impacts of buildings on energy and environment. However, recent studies have shown that low energy buildings mostly do not perform as expected. These differences are related to different factors including the interaction between occupants and building technologies. Thus, most renovation initiatives have not considered occupant behavior equally to the energy efficiency process. Many of the existing studies have been focused on technological improvements rather than behavioral-related parameters. Hence, this study aims to review the literature on the occupants' energy perceptions and their behavioral interventions in energy efficient retrofitted residential buildings. The results of the literature review reveal that household's energy consumption significantly differs according to the various factors including social-economic, cultural, household composition as well as individual attitudes, habits, experiences, and occupant practices. Moreover, the energy consumption in the residential sector is highly dependent on demographic parameters. The demographics factors are classified according to type of family, level of income, age of the occupants, and individuals' educational status. The findings shows that energy perception gap formulates the energy behavior and it is related to the lack of personal interest, accurate information and individuals' awareness about how to consume efficiently. Therefore, it is suggested that the level of occupant's perception on energy, control, or comfort have to be considered during energy efficiency retrofits. The study contributes to understanding of occupants' behaviors which cause energy performance gap and enlighten approaches to encourage more energy efficient behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012021
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventSBE 2022 Delft Conference on Innovations for the Urban Energy Transition: Preparing for the European Renovation Wave - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 11 Nov 202213 Nov 2022


  • energy efficiency retrofit
  • energy perception
  • energy performance gap
  • occupant behavior
  • people intervention
  • residential buildings


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