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ECN publication
Energy retrofits of Danish homes: is the Energy Performance Certificate useful?
Haunstrup Christensen, T.; Gram-Hanssen, K.; Best - Waldhober, M. de; Adjei, A.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 1-5-2014
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-W--14-048 Article (scientific)
Number of pages:

Published in: Building Research & Information. January, February, 32(1),38-41. (Routledge), , April 2014, Vol.42, p.489-500.

Energy retrofitting of the existing dwelling stock represents one of the major challenges for the transition to a low carbon society, as about 19% of the final energy consumption in the European Union relates to heating of dwellings. Danish homeowners’ experiences with the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) are examined, as it was introduced in 1997 (prior to a similar scheme introduced later in the European Union). The main research question is whether the EPC has an influence on Danish homeowners’ energy retrofit practices. Homeowners’ understanding of and trust in the EPC are analyzed, based on an online survey of homeowners (N?=?743) living in a home with a recently issued EPC. Results indicate that the EPC has a limited influence on homeowners’ energy retrofit practices. Despite most homeowners finding the EPC reliable and easy to understand, relatively few find it useful as a source of information for home retrofits. In its current form, the EPC is insufficient to encourage homeowners to undertake energy retrofits of their home. Improvements to address this problem in the administration, scope and layout of the EPC are suggested.

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