Barriers for Homeowners in Decisions to Undertake Government-Led Energy Efficiency Renovation Projects in Northern China

J. Ma*, QK Qian, H.J. Visscher, Kun Song

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


The Chinese government has taken actions to promote energy efficiency through the renovation of residential buildings in the Northern Heating Region. Homeowners have been encouraged to undertake government-led energy efficiency renovation; however, their decisions to undertake the renovation are affected by several barriers. The lack of participation from homeowners has brought difficulties in execution and financing. This study empirically investigated the barriers facing homeowners when undertaking the renovation, including barriers generated from the homeowner’s cognitive biases. The results show that barriers associated with capital cost, unbalanced financial plan, unclear process, comfort, and increased energy prices are the most widely considered when homeowners make decisions about undertaking renovation projects. An adverse decision is most likely to be generated when: (1) when homeowners perceive the financial plan as unfair, (2) when they have already done renovation at their own expense, or (3) when they have the feeling of losing initiative. Among all the individual factors, the homeowners’ gender, age, education level, and building type are significant in predicting their decisions. By drawing on insights from behavioral economics, we analyzed the mechanisms behind these barriers. The findings can help policymakers to design more cost-effective policy instruments to mitigate the barriers
Original languageEnglish
Article number7298
Number of pages19
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • energy efficiency renovation
  • barriers
  • behavioral economics
  • cognitive bias
  • existing residential buildings


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