ECN publication
Leefstijl en huishoudelijk energieverbruik: een kwalitatief onderzoek naar de relatie tussen leefstijl en energieverbruik bij bewoners van energiezuinige woningen
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 1-8-2000
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-C--00-083 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
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Results of a study of the interaction between energy saving measures andlifestyle are presented. Residents of new, highly efficient, dwellings have been interviewed. The main subjects were: (1) The interaction between dwelling characteristics and lifestyle. To what extent did the technologies require changes in ventilation or space heating behaviour? How difficult is the operation of the technologies, and how well were the residents informed? Is the dwelling sufficiently convenient or will future inhabitants be inclined to make changes which possibly counterbalance the energy efficient design? What aspects of the dwelling are most appreciated and what aspects do not match previous expectations?; (2) The attitude towards renewable or efficient technologies. How familiar are domestic solar heating systems, heat pumps and PV panels, and what additional price is one willing to pay?; (3) The knowledge of efficient appliances and the labelling system. Have they taken into account the information on the energy label when purchasing new appliances? Is the concept of 'hot fill' washing machines familiar?; (4) Their own lifestyle. How is their general attitude towards energy efficiency and the environment? The major conclusion is that technologies in residential dwellings should be easy to use for all kinds of residents, regardless of their technical background and their attitude towards energy efficiency. In addition, the design of an energy efficient dwelling should not require major changes in behaviour. In particular ventilation behaviour appears, to a large extent, to be based on habits. It is recommended to further investigate whether improved information on the operation of a ventilation system with heat recovery may influence ventilation behaviour. The information on how to operate the advanced systems is in many cases not sufficient, which leads to incorrect operation and in some cases counterbalances the energy saving effect. More attention should be paid to the creation of simple, written documentation, which will also be available to future residents. Technologies and measures should also not cause any inconvenience (noise or dust from the ventilation outlet), because the expectation is that sooner or later, all residents will take measures to reduce this inconvenience. This way the energy efficient design is not 'robust' over the lifetime of the dwelling. 12 refs.

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