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ECN publication
The influence of behaviour on the effectiveness of more stringent standards
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 1-6-2005
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--05-125 Article (scientific)
Number of pages:

Published in: Energy savings: What works & who delivers?, ECEEE 2005Summer Study. (), , , Vol., p.-.

In order to restrict the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on climatechange, the emissions need to be reduced with 50% in 2030 compared to 1990. In order to meet this target in the built environment, a severe reduction of energy use is required. Energy saving measures can be implemented in new as well as in existing dwellings. To determine the effectiveness of standards for new dwellings, it is important to know whether implementation of more stringent standards leads to corresponding energy savings. Or are life style changes needed to further decrease domestic energy consumption? To answer these questions, the energy consumption of over 200 houses was measured on a monthly base for one year. The households had to fill in extensive questionnaires dealing with various kinds of behaviour. The technical characteristics of the dwellings were obtained through real estate managers. Finally, the acceptance of advanced technological options was investigated by means of interviews. It turns out that the behaviour of the households strongly influences energy consumption. Nevertheless, the analysis shows that stricter norms do lead to corresponding energy savings. Therefore it can be concluded that setting stricter standards for new dwellings is an effective energy conservation measure. Measurements show that recently built well insulated detached dwellings use about the same amount of energy as an average existing dwelling. Because of consumer preferences, there is a tendency to build more detached houses. This means that the energy saving resulting from more stringent standards will be partly counteracted by the construction of larger dwellings.

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