Local government influence on energy conservation in the existing Dutch social housing stock
Veen, R.S. van der
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This study aims to determine how local governments can improve the energy quality of the existing social housing stock. A stakeholder analysis is performed to identify the main drivers and barriers for each stakeholder. Closer analysis of these drivers and barriers reveals that the financial side of the problem is complicated but manageable and that the crucial factor is communication. Effective communication should be tailored to the reference framework of the target group. These reference frameworks are identified by means of a discourse analysis. Municipalities consequently frame the issue as a climate problem, although energy conservation in housing also has profound poverty, employment and health effects. The climate story does not resonate with the money and comfort discourses of the housing associations and the tenants. The main conclusion from this research is that municipalities should frame and treat energy conservation in housing as a poverty issue, with positive effects on employment, health and climate as well. Reframing the issue and embedding it in the corresponding policy programmes will significantly increase the support base and subsequently unlock budgets on a scale that far exceeds typical funding of climate policy. The main conclusion is embedded in a policy design that also contains an enabling framework based on creating partnerships and closing performance agreements. These two components form the basis of a comprehensive, governance based, policy advice for local governments to bring about energy conservation in the existing social housing stock.