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Implementation of energy efficiency measures in Swedish single-family houses
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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.

Abstract [sv]

Energieffektiviseringar inom bostadssektorn kan ge flera vinster somminskade utsläpp av växthusgaser, ökad energisäkerheten, fler arbetstillfällen ochförbättrad inomhusmiljö. Det finns en stor potential att förbättraenergieffektiviteten i befintliga bostäder i Sverige. Många av de energiåtgärdersom kan implementeras är också kostnadseffektiva. Emellertid är framgångsrikimplementering av energiåtgärder beroende av många faktorer, inklusive attityderoch uppfattningar hos inblandade aktörer. I enfamiljsvillor är villaägarna viktigaaktörer för spridningen av energiåtgärder eftersom de beslutar om huruvidasådana åtgärder ska genomföras. Här används en adopter‐centrerad metod för attstudera villaägares genomförande av energiåtgärder och intentioner att genomförasådana åtgärder. Två skriftliga enkätundersökningar har genomförts blandvillaägare, den ena var en nationell undersökning, och den andra avgränsades tilltvå län och skickades till hushåll som hade installerat energieffektiva fönster.Statligt finansierade förändringsagenter och privata aktörer somförsäljare/installatörer kan påverka husägares beslut om genomförande. Därförgenomfördes en enkätundersökning bland kommunala energirådgivare över helaSverige och bland försäljare/installatörer av fönster i Jämtlands län för att förståderas uppfattning och attityder till energiåtgärder.Resultaten visar att majoriteten av villaägarna ansåg det viktigt att minskaenergianvändningen i hushållet, och att de flesta föredrog att genomförakostnadsfria åtgärder (t.ex. att släcka lampor). Majoriteten (70‐90%) av devillaägare som svarat på enkäten hade inte för avsikt att genomföraenergiförbättrande investeringar i byggnadens ytterhölje huvudsakligen eftersomde var nöjda med de befintliga komponenterna.Villaägare som ansåg att de hade hög energikostnad var mer benägna attgöra en energiåtgärd som krävde investeringar jämfört med de som ansåg att dehade låg energikostnad. Investeringskostnad och årlig energikostnadsbesparingvar de viktigaste faktorerna för att genomföra energiåtgärder i byggnadensytterhölje. Även om de flesta villaägare inte ansåg att deras energikostnader varhög så ansåg de ändå att det var viktigt att minska energikostnaderna i hushållet.Av den orsaken kan ekonomiska stimulanser förmå villaägare att genomförasådana åtgärder. Ökning av energipriset kan påverka fler villaägare att genomföraenergiåtgärder eftersom det högre energipriset ytterligare kan förbättrakostnadseffektiviteten av sådana åtgärder. Emellertid ansåg majoriteten avvillaägarna att energi‐ och CO2‐skatter inte var ett effektivt politiskt instrumentsom uppmuntrar dem att genomföra energiåtgärder.ivVillaägarna ansåg att personlig kommunikation från byggare, försäljare ochinstallatörer var viktiga informationskällor för att genomföra energiåtgärder.Energirådgivningstjänsten kan vara ett viktigt instrument för att främjaenergieffektivitet, men ca 50% av villaägarna känner inte till denna service. Endast14 % av villaägarna hade konsulterat energirådgivare, och av dessa hade 57%(d.v.s. 8% av alla som svarat på enkäten) genomfört förslagna åtgärder. Såledesbehövs mer insatser för att öka medvetenhet om och effektiviteten hosenergirådgivningstjänster. Majoriteten av kommunala energirådgivare trodde attökat ekonomiskt stöd och mer utbildning i tekniska aspekter av energifrågor skulleförbättra deras resultat.Aktörer nära villaägare i efterfrågekedjan, såsom försäljare och installatörer,kan spela en viktig roll i villaägarnas genomförande av energiåtgärder. Cirka 97%av de villaägare som svarat och som fått rekommendation om vissa fönster från enförsäljare/installatör hade också installerat de rekommenderade fönstren.Försäljare/installatörer av fönster i Jämtland föredrar ett fönster som är måttligt energieffektivt. Majoriteten rekommenderade inte fönster med U‐värde <1,2W/m2K huvudsakligen på grund av kondensfrågor och de höga priserna på dessafönster. Cirka 80% av de villaägare som använt sig av bidrag för installation avfönster installerade fönster med ett U‐värde på 1,2 W/m2K. Liksomförsäljare/installatörer av fönster angav villaägare kondensproblem och höga prisersom skäl för att inte köpa fönster som var mer energieffektiva. Dessa resultatindikerar att försäljare/installatörer av fönster har stort inflytande på villaägaresval av nya fönster. För att öka spridningen av mer energieffektiva fönster ibefintliga småhus, kan riktad information till försäljare/installatörer behövas somsakligt redovisar för‐ och nackdelar med energieffektiva fönster.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Östersund: Mid Sweden University , 2012. , 61 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 120
National Category
Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-15841ISBN: 978-91-86694-68-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-15841DiVA: diva2:489863
Available from: 2012-02-03 Created: 2012-02-03 Last updated: 2015-06-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Factors influencing energy efficiency investments in existing Swedish residential buildings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Factors influencing energy efficiency investments in existing Swedish residential buildings
2010 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, E-ISSN 1873-6777, Vol. 38, no 6, 2956-2963 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We used the data from a survey conducted in 2008 of 3,000 owners of detached houses to analyse the factors that influence the adoption of investment measures to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. For the majority of Swedish homeowners, it was important to reduce their household energy use, and most of them undertook no-cost measures as compared to investment measures. Personal attributes such as income, education, age and contextual factors, including age of the house, thermal discomfort, past investment, and perceived energy cost, influence homeowners’ preference for a particular type of energy efficiency measure. The implications for promoting the implementation of energy efficiency investment measures are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2010
Keyword
Building envelope measures, Energy efficiency investment measures, Homeowners
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-11337 (URN)10.1016/j.enpol.2010.01.033 (DOI)000278055700047 ()2-s2.0-77951297003 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-03-02 Created: 2010-03-02 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. Owners perception on the adoption of building envelope energy efficiency measures in Swedish detached houses
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Owners perception on the adoption of building envelope energy efficiency measures in Swedish detached houses
2010 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 87, no 7, 2411-2419 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The paper focuses on Swedish homeowners’ need for and perceptions about adopting building envelop energy efficiency measures. The paper is based on a questionnaire survey of 3059 homeowners (response rate of 36%) selected by stratified random sampling during the summer of 2008. The results showed that 70–90% of the respondents had no intention of adopting such a measure over the next 10 years. The main reasons for non-adoption were that homeowners were satisfied with the physical condition, thermal performance, and aesthetics of their existing building envelope components. A greater proportion of respondents perceived that improved attic insulation has more advantages than energy efficient windows and improved wall insulation, but windows were more likely to be installed than improved attic insulation. Respondents gave high priority to economic factors in deciding on an energy efficiency measure. Interpersonal sources, construction companies, installers, and energy advisers were important sources of information for homeowners as they planned to adopt building envelope energy efficiency measures. Policy measures to facilitate the rate of adoption of energy efficient building envelope measures are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2010
Keyword
Energy efficiency, Building envelop components, Homeowners, Sweden
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-11341 (URN)10.1016/j.apenergy.2010.02.004 (DOI)000278675100035 ()2-s2.0-77953232145 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-03-02 Created: 2010-03-02 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
3. Implementation of energy efficient windows in Swedish single-family houses
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Implementation of energy efficient windows in Swedish single-family houses
2012 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 89, no 1, 329-338 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A questionnaire survey of 1010 homeowners in Jamtland and Vasternorrland, which are two counties in central Sweden, was conducted to understand the factors influencing their decision to install energy-efficient windows. We complemented this survey with an interview of 12 window sellers/installers in the county Jamtland. The annual energy cost reduction, age, and condition of the windows were the most important reasons for the window replacement decision. Approximately 80% of the respondents replaced their windows with energy-efficient windows with U-value of 1.2 W/m(2) K. Condensation problems, perceived higher prices, and lack of awareness about windows with lower U-values were important reasons for non-adoption of more energy-efficient windows. Window sellers/installers have a strong influence on homeowners' window selection that was indicated by the 97% of homeowners who bought the windows that were recommended to them. Sellers/installers revealed that they did not recommend windows with U-value of less than 1.2 W/m(2) K because they thought that investing in such windows was not economical and because windows with U-value less than 1.2 W/m(2) K could cause water condensation on the external surface of window pane.

Keyword
Energy-efficient windows; Homeowners; Installers; Sellers; Sweden; U-value
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-14394 (URN)10.1016/j.apenergy.2011.07.040 (DOI)000296114700039 ()2-s2.0-80053294916 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2011-08-25 Created: 2011-08-25 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
4. Policy instruments to promote building energy efficiency from an end-user point of view
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Policy instruments to promote building energy efficiency from an end-user point of view
2011 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE), 2011
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-13431 (URN)
Conference
ECEEE Summer study, Belambra Presqu'île de Giens, France, 6–11 June
Available from: 2011-03-31 Created: 2011-03-31 Last updated: 2013-03-14Bibliographically approved
5. Energy advice service as perceived by Swedish homeowners
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy advice service as perceived by Swedish homeowners
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Consumer Studies, ISSN 1470-6423, E-ISSN 1470-6431, Vol. 35, no 1, 104-111 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

External actors can influence potential adopters to adopt energy efficiency measures. In Sweden municipality energy advisers are one such actor group who provides energy advice and information to the end users. The success of energy advice service for improvement of energy efficiency of detached houses depends on homeowners' perception towards it. In this context, we conducted a national survey of about 3000 owners of detached houses through stratified random sampling method in the summer of 2008. We found that majority of owners of detached houses consider energy advisers as an important source of information. Furthermore, many homeowners who contacted energy advisers for advice had implemented the suggestions. However, only a few homeowners had contacted an energy adviser. Our findings suggest that it is beneficial to continue the energy advice service, but more efforts are needed to increase homeowners' awareness of and satisfaction with such services.

Keyword
Homeowner, perception, energy adviser, energy efficiency, Sweden
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-11910 (URN)10.1111/j.1470-6431.2010.00924.x (DOI)000285881400013 ()2-s2.0-79957666106 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-08-16 Created: 2010-08-16 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
6. Swedish energy advisers' perceptions regarding and suggestions for fulfilling homeowner expectations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Swedish energy advisers' perceptions regarding and suggestions for fulfilling homeowner expectations
2011 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, E-ISSN 1873-6777, Vol. 39, no 7, 4264-4273 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Municipality energy advice services were re-introduced in Sweden in 1998 as a way of advising end-users, mainly owners of detached houses, on energy issues. In this paper, we investigate Swedish energy advisers' perceptions of homeowners' awareness of the energy advice service and their perceived ability to fulfil homeowners' expectations. Our study is based on a mail-in questionnaire survey conducted in 2009 and distributed to municipality energy advisers in all municipalities in Sweden. About 66% of the energy advisers responded. The results show that 43% of the energy advisers thought that fewer than 50% of the homeowners were aware of the service and that mass media advertisements and presentations at different organisations could improve homeowner awareness. Energy adviser attitudes, job satisfaction, and the perception that the advisers possessed up-to-date and good knowledge and sufficient financial resources to execute their duties had a significant influence on their perceived ability to fulfil homeowner expectations. Increased training in technical aspects of energy measures and increased financial support were the two measures most widely suggested as a means to improve energy advisers' performance.

Keyword
Energy adviser, Perception, Survey
National Category
Environmental Biotechnology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-13865 (URN)10.1016/j.enpol.2011.04.043 (DOI)000292620800040 ()2-s2.0-79957648665 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2011-05-30 Created: 2011-05-30 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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