Spend to Save? Factors of influence on owner-occupiers' energy saving investments in Dutch policy
Bijgaart, S. van den
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Climate change and fossil fuel depletion call for the decarbonisation of the energy system. Thermal energy consumption in owner-occupied households has a substantial share in total energy use. Thermal energy saving in the existing housing stock is key to the process of decarbonisation. This study therefore aims to provide insight into the extent to which Dutch policies consider factors that are of influence on the decision-making process of owner-occupiers whether or not to invest in thermal energy saving measures. The factors of influence are identified from the literature and compiled into a conceptual model structured by seven categories, i.e. regulatory factors, financial factors, informational factors, contextual factors, household characteristics, building characteristics, and social factors. Policy documents from Dutch national government and the local governments of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht are qualitatively analysed for these factors of influence. Especially household characteristics are found to be underrepresented while the focus is mainly on financial and informational factors. Governments are recommended to elaborate and extent their policies by including all factors. For future research conducting a Dutch all-factor study to perfect the conceptual model is recommended. Moreover, in further experimental studies particular attention should be given to synergies that can come from combining building and household characteristics with the social norm. At last, for a more complete assessment of factor use in Dutch policy an extended interview oriented study is suggested.