Behavioural factors influencing the uptake of energy efficiency in residential buildings

The reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings is essential in reaching the European Union’s climate goals. To reach these goals, the EU must at least double its annual energy renovation rate for buildings by 2030, as well as significantly increase the rate of deep renovations. So far, the existing policy framework proved to be insufficient to accelerate the pace of change and deliver the expected emission reductions.

One of the reasons behind the insufficient adoption of energy efficiency in buildings may be limited consideration of the behavioural factors affecting the investment decisions in energy efficiency renovation. This report aims to synthesise and present the findings from behavioural sciences to increase the knowledge of the broad variety of factors which affect these decisions. In addition, the present report identifies and characterises the relevant stakeholders involved, their behaviours, motivations, and the decision-making process. Finally, the report presents recommendations to European, national and local policy makers on how to include behavioural factors to improve energy efficiency investments in buildings policies.

This study was commissioned by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and performed by Ramboll. CE Delft was involved as an expert contributor.