ECN publication
Do energy efficiency investments lead to lower household expenditure? Detailed analyses of the Dutch energy efficiency potential in ‘real’ households
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 18-10-2011
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-M--11-094 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
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Energy efficiency measures are often seen as a way to save on energy bills, thereby lowering household expenditures. This is true if the savings outweigh the costs of financing these investments. Calculations on cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency measures are often based on abstract assumptions. On the one hand, economic discounting methods are commonly used to calculate investment costs. On the other hand, most of the time the expected savings are based on theoretical models used for calculating energy consumption in households. Real cost-effectiveness depends on a variety of specific characteristics of households. In reality, the way people finance energy efficiency measures differs and what is more important: energy savings depend to a large extent on specific technical and behavioural characteristics of individual households. In this paper, we take a closer look at households in the Netherlands. The paper shows that there is a large cost-effective potential for energy savings, but that there are major differences between households. It will explain that heating behaviour of individual households should be taken into account. The paper will also address the adjusted Dutch rental price system, which offers a solution for the split incentives problem that used to hinder energy efficiency investments in social housing.

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