Implementation of energy efficiency measures in Swedish single-family houses

Detta är en avhandling från Östersund : Mid Sweden University

Sammanfattning: Energy efficiency improvements in the residential sector have manybenefits, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy security,creating jobs and improving living conditions. There is a large potential to improveenergy efficiency in existing Swedish residential buildings. Many of the energyefficiency measures that can be implemented in buildings may be cost effective.However, the successful implementation of efficiency measures depends onmultiple factors, including the attitudes and perceptions of the relevant actors. Insingle?family houses the homeowners are important actor in the diffusion ofenergy efficiency measures as they are the final decision makers regarding whetherto adopt such measures. An adopter?centric approach was used to studyhomeowners’ adoption and intention to adopt energy efficiency measures. Twomail?in questionnaire surveys of owners of single?family houses were conducted;one was a national survey, and the other was sent to selected households in twocounties that had installed energy?efficient windows. The government fundedchange agents and private actors like sellers/installers could influencehomeowners’ adoption decisions. Accordingly, a survey of municipality energyadvisers across Sweden and window sellers/installers in Jämtland County wasconducted to understand their perception and attitude towards energy efficiencymeasures.The results show that the majority of homeowners considered it importantto reduce their household energy use, with most of them preferred to undertakeno?cost measures (e.g., switching off lights). The majority of respondinghomeowners (70-90%) did not intend to improve their building envelopecomponents mainly because they were satisfied with their existing components.Investment costs and annual energy cost savings were the most importantfactors in the adoption of energy?efficient building envelope measures.Homeowners who considered their energy costs to be high were more likely toadopt an energy efficiency investment measure compared to those who thoughttheir energy costs were low. Though the majority of homeowners did not considertheir energy cost as high still they considered it important to reduce householdenergy cost. Therefore, economic incentives may induce homeowners to adoptsuch measures. Increasing the energy price may induce more homeowners toadopt energy efficiency measures as the higher energy price may further improvethe cost effectiveness of such measures. However, majority of homeowners did notconsider energy and CO2 taxes as effective policy instruments that encourage themto adopt energy efficiency measures.iiHomeowners considered interpersonal sources, builders, sellers andinstallers to be important sources of information regarding the adoption of energyefficiency measures. Energy advice service could be an important policy tool topromote energy efficiency, but about 50% of the homeowners are unaware of thisservice. Only 14% of homeowners had consulted an energy adviser out of which57% (i.e. 8% to total respondents) had implemented the suggestions. Hence, moreefforts are needed to increase awareness and effectiveness of energy advice service.The majority of municipal energy advisers were of the opinion that increasedfinancial support and more training in technical aspects of energy issues couldimprove their performance.Actors close to homeowners in the supply chain, such as sellers andinstallers, could play an important role in homeowners’ adoption of energyefficiency measures. Approximately 97% of responding homeowners who receiveda recommendation about particular windows from a seller/installer had installedthe recommended windows. The window sellers/installers in Jämtland prefer awindow that is reasonably energy efficient. The majority will not recommend awindow with a U?value of < 1.2 W/m2K mainly because they were concerned aboutcondensation issues and about the high prices of such windows. Approximately80% of homeowners who availed themselves of the investment subsidy installedwindows with a U?value of 1.2 W/m2K. Like the window sellers/installers,homeowners cited condensation issues and high prices as reasons for not buyingmore energy?efficient windows. This finding suggests that windowsellers/installers have strong influence in homeowners’ choice of windows.Therefore to increase the adoption rate of more energy?efficient windows inexisting single?family houses, it may be necessary to address windowsellers’/installers’ concerns about these windows.